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Elimination of all negative attitudes from society is first priority: Caretaker PM Kakar

Elimination of all negative attitudes from society is first priority: Caretaker PM Kakar
October 24, 2023 Web Desk

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday vowing to resist the individuals propagating against the polio vaccination, resolved to achieve the dream of polio-free Pakistan by carrying forward the journey with unshakeable commitment.

“I can assure that we gonna have it. We will realize this dream. We will never step back, may be an inch, may be a foot or may be a mile. This will always be a forth-going journey,” the prime minister remarked addressing a ceremony to mark the World Polio Day.

He said that elimination of all negative attitudes from the society is the first priority. Recognizing the sacrifices of the polio workers and the security personnel guarding them, the prime minister said they had paid the highest price for the cause. He said the frontline health workers were the heroes of Pakistan, who were working in challenging environments, facing social barriers and even threats to their safety without ever losing their dedication.

The event was organized by the Pakistan Polio Programme to pay homage to the resilience and dedication of frontline workers on World Polio Day which is commemorated on October 24 every year.

Federal Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan, Federal Health Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, representatives of polio partners Rotary, WHO and UNICEF, and frontline workers and their families were in attendance.

He expressed his gratitude to the global partners who continued to supporting Pakistan in its andeavour of polio eradication.

“Today is a day to remember how far we have come and how crucial polio eradication efforts remain. Pakistan cannot be the reason to hold the world back. We must move forward to 2024 with the realization that the weight of global eradication lies on our shoulders. We must leave no room for the virus to spread and reach every child with the vaccine before the virus has a chance to permanently change their lives,” he remarked.

Caretaker Health Minister Nadeem Jan, in his address, paid homage to the polio workers who were striving to accomplish the mission of polio-free Pakistan while facing many odds and hardships. He emphasized that the community health workers should be acknowledged and honored as motivation would be enhanced their performance. He called for changing the narrative from 'Pak Fights Polio' to 'Pakistan Winning Over Polio.' He expressed the hope that the World Polio Day next year would mark the complete eradiation of polio from Pakistan.

WHO Representative in Pakistan Palitha Mahipala said the day was observed to commemorate the global journey. He said the Polio eradication was one of the major commitments made by the WHO which provided technical support to Pakistan.

Unicef Chief Polio Officer Melissa Corkum said the credit for the successes went to the health workers who despite challenges went door to door in every campaign. She said the day was not only to commemorate the successes but also to remember those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle.

Rotary’s District Governor Masrur J Scheik highlighted his organisation’s support for polio eradication through funds, volunteering during campaigns, social mobilization of workers and, installing solar water filtration plants.