Pakistan capable of defeating polio: Imran

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed his confidence in Pakistan’s ability to apply the lessons learnt from its COVID-19 response to eradicate polio from the country.
Earlier this week, Bill Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts to combat the pandemic while protecting lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations.
During a telephonic conversation this week, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates “agreed to continue their cooperation on shared priorities”. The prime minister apprised Bill Gates of the improvement in the Covid-19 situation in Pakistan with a considerable decrease in the number of new cases and fatality rate. The prime minister told Bill Gates “the smart lockdowns policy of the government proved to be very effective”. He said the timely and prudent interventions enabled the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on health and economy and averted a larger catastrophe.
The prime minister acknowledged the Gates Foundation’s continued support to Pakistan that includes COVID-19 response. He noted that repurposing the polio infrastructure played an important role in COVID-19 response.
The prime minister reaffirmed polio eradication as a key priority of the government. Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Bill Gates said they were encouraged to see that polio vaccination campaigns had been able to restart with appropriate COVID-19 precautions.
They agreed to enhance the program to ensure vaccination for all children, including in the remote areas. They discussed how using existing structures that are supporting COVID-19, such as the National Command Operation Centre, could help support polio eradication efforts.

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