AFD pledges $55m to support Pakistan’s polio programme
ISLAMABAD: French Development Agency (AFD) has pledged $55 million to lend a hand support Pakistan’s Polio Programme operations, in efforts to interrupt poliovirus transmission.
A delegation of the AFD and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation met the Special Health Secretary and visited the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication.
The conferences have been a part of the delegation’s week-long consult with to Pakistan to lend a hand support the rustic within the spaces of well being and social coverage.
During a briefing on the NEOC, the AFD dedicated to supporting the Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) in immunization actions, illness surveillance, polio marketing campaign tracking and different technical spaces, and filling the investment hole of $55 million (beneath the PC-1 for polio eradication, 2022-2026) that the programme wanted.
NEOC Coordinator Dr Shahzad Baig emphasised the importance of the polio infrastructure to Pakistan’s healthcare. “We are very grateful to the French Government for this support.”
“The Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme is a vital part of our healthcare system and investing in polio is an investment in the country’s overall health system,” he mentioned.
He added, “The polio infrastructure has proven how it can offer the most reliable support for the most challenging of health emergencies, like we saw with the COVID-19 response, which capitalized on the experiences of polio surveillance teams.”
The French Development Agency delegation was once headed by way of Agnès Soucat, Director of Health and Social Protection, whilst the Gates Foundation delegation was once led by way of Jay Wegner, Global Head for Polio Eradication.
The delegation held a gathering with the Country Representatives of WHO and UNICEF and mentioned how the polio infrastructure was once on the vanguard in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new flood reaction.
After the NEOC assembly, Special Health Secretary Mirza Nasir ud Din Mashhood Ahmad held a debrief on the Ministry of Health and spoke in regards to the have an effect on on Pakistan’s well being infrastructure after the 2022 floods, which left 2,000 well being amenities broken.
“Despite the challenges of last year, the Government of Pakistan did not waver in its resolve to eradicate polio. We remain committed to the cause and the multiple vaccination campaigns we have held since the floods are a testament to that commitment,” the Health Secretary mentioned.
Agnes emphasised on strengthening the main well being care device, built-in illness surveillance and reaction methods and prioritizing preparedness for rising and re-emerging sicknesses and long run emergencies, together with development the capability of frontline staff for number one well being care and different wishes.
Agnes additionally discussed how the polio infrastructure is a energy for the rustic and a possibility for Pakistan to use it for different well being and emergency responses put up eradication.
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The delegation contributors favored the development Pakistan has made in polio eradication and pledged their support to stay Pakistan on the right track to interrupt the transmission of untamed poliovirus this 12 months, as envisioned within the international eradication technique.
Most of Pakistan has remained polio loose for just about two years. Wild poliovirus stays in flow in seven districts of southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the place it continues to pose a risk to youngsters with low immunity and deficient diet.
The PEI, with support from its companions, has intensified vaccination schedules in those districts and continues to enforce leading edge methods, comparable to vaccination of nomadic youngsters and transit vaccinations, to achieve each final kid with the life-saving vaccine.