Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has urged parliamentarians and religious leaders to join hands in the campaign against polio.
"Pakistan, today, is one of the last three polio endemic countries of the world, which necessitates redoubling our efforts, as time is not on our side. It is a question of the lives of our children, as well as honour and prestige of our country in the comity of nations," the Daily Times quoted Ashraf, as saying during a National Task Force meeting on polio eradication.
Pakistan's Polio Ambassador Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and World Health Organisation Regional Director Dr Ala Alwan also attended the meeting.
"Polio virus is now restricted to fewer areas, from 28 districts to 13 districts, and the campaign coverage has been enhanced progressively with 80 percent districts reporting 95 percent coverage, as compared to 42 percent during the last year. This is a marked improvement, and I wish to congratulate you all for your leadership and keen interest in the cause," Raja added.
He expressed his satisfaction over the fact that Karachi, the country's largest city, had so far not reported a single case of polio.
"I must commend here, not only the leadership of Sindh and the chief minister, but also the contribution of all political parties of the city, who are working together on this issue," he said.
"In Balochistan, cases this year have only been restricted to Quetta. Where this represents a marked improvement, it also highlights the gaps in the campaign quality in Quetta. I would request the Balochistan chief secretary to personally supervise the campaign in this critical area," he added. (ANI)