Govt committed to end poliovirus transmission soon: Patel.

ISLAMABAD -- Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Abdul Qadir Patel on Tuesday renewed the government's commitment to completely eradicate the crippling disease of polio from the country.

In a statement, he said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were working together in their fight against polio.

He said that while the isolation of the virus was a cause of concern, it was excellent to note that it was detected promptly. This timely detection of the virus in the environment was crucial to protecting children from being paralyzed by the poliovirus, he added.

Patel said, 'The only way to stop the virus is to vaccinate all children under the age of five. It is critically important that parents and caregivers, particularly in Lahore, ensure that their child is vaccinated in the February round.'

Dr Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), said this is not unexpected since Pakistan and Afghanistan are considered as one epidemiological block in which polio viruses move across borders as there is widespread population movement.

'In the past year, we have worked very closely with the Afghanistan programme and treat the virus in either country as our own. Neither Pakistan nor Afghanistan can be free of polio until both countries can interrupt transmission,' Dr Baig said.

Pakistan's first detection of wild polio virus in 2023 has been detected in an environmental sample in Lahore.

The virus found in Gulshan Ravi has links to a poliovirus found in Nangahar...

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