Islamabad-Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq Sunday stressed to continue the drive for polio eradication till the last child is saved from crippling disease.
She said “Polio is a zero-sum game and until we achieve zero, we cannot sit idle in our war against polio.” She was addressing the concluding ceremony of four-day 10th annual review and training meeting of Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) officers.
She congratulated the programme officials for successfully completing six-year of dedicated work in Pakistan, according to a press release.
She said NSTOP officers have been adding critical value to Pakistan programme by providing technical support at district level.
She said NSTOP officers are doing a great service to mankind and are in the process of making history by wiping the crippling polio diseases from face of the earth through hard work, dedicated and technical knowledge.
She pledged that Government of Pakistan would do everything to make sure that their work is further facilitated and hoped that CDC Atlanta would extend same support to these officers in the upcoming months and years.
The senator praised the NSTOP leadership for having very open-hearted, candid and frank review of their progress during the past few days with an aim to further improve the programme. This culture of open accountability is the driver of change in Pakistan’s polio Eradication Initiative and NTOP officers continue to promote this through their hard work, she added. “Contribution of NTOP officers in over 80 districts across the country is reflective from the progress polio programme has made in drastically bringing down the case count to three and improving the quality of campaigns”, she said in her concluding remarks.
She urged the NSTOP officers to renew a pledge to uproot the crippling polio diseases from the country by the end of current year.
She said that indigenously conceived NSTOP programme of FLSTP has produced a handsome quantity of trained human resource in the country which will help in developing a smooth transition of these officers to other public health initiatives. She said that improving the routine immunization across the country is part of the polio eradication initiative programme and, “We will do every possible effort to help our EPI colleagues to improve on that account as well.”
National Coordinator for Pakistan Polio Program, Dr Rana Safdar, in his concluding remarks, commended NSTOP officers by saying that “your role at district level is very critical as have remained instrumental in motivating and mobilizing the DPCRs in collaboration with concerned DCs and I want you to continue your work in the same zeal till we achieve zero.” Welcoming the participants of the review meeting, Dr Rana Jawad Asgher, Resident Advisor FELTP highlighted the role of Field Epidemiology Training Programme in strengthening federal and provincial human resource which is assisting the Government of Pakistan in controlling communicable diseases including the N-STOP initiative targeting Polio and vaccine preventable diseases.
Four-day review meeting of the N-STOP officers was attended by the District Polio Control Room (DPCR) focal persons from critical districts of the country. Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, National Coordinator for Polio eradication, 65 N-STOP officers, national leads of WHO and UNICEF, Resident Advisor FELTP.
The N-STOP is a collaborative initiative of the
Government of Pakistan, FELTP, World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta.
The programme trains and deploys Government Public Health Officers in critical Polio districts to serve as key technical support persons with the Deputy Commissioners.