Pakistan inches away from polio free title

12:44 PM | 25 Jul, 2019
Pakistan inches away from polio free title
As Trump mentioned in his remarks earlier this week in Washington, Pakistani children live in one of the last places in the world still grappling with the threat of polio transmission. Now that wild polio cases have disappeared from Nigeria over the past few years, Afghanistan is the only other country yet to eliminate the disease.

Rolling out immunisation in the country has not been easy. Progress has faced obstacles, from religious hardliners and anti-vaccination propaganda to militant violence. Most of the cases recorded in the last few years have been in tribal borderlands with Afghanistan, where conflict and a porous frontier have hindered vaccination efforts.

Today, a new threat has emerged: parents opposed to vaccinations have been reported giving their children the same mark as that used by health workers to denote an immunised child. Though outwardly unremarkable – it is just a flick of permanent marker on their fingertip – the repercussions are grave, as it causes the vaccination teams to skip over them.

But the fight is being won, and may soon be over. Vaccination campaigns have drastically reduced the number of cases. About 45 have been reported this year; last year there were only eight. This represents huge progress since the national vaccination programme was rolled out just 25 years ago. Back then, the disease paralysed more than 30,000 children.

The statistics are encouraging. In the month of May alone – according to the latest report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) – more than 1.07 million Pakistani children were vaccinated. 260,000 frontline workers were deployed to help the campaign, including 2,100 social mobilisers.

Vaccination efforts were met with a 95 per cent acceptance rate by children and their families. And there has been growing success in immunising children on the move, thanks to the establishment of more than 400 “permanent transit points” – areas for providing vaccinations along with district and national borders, bus stops, roads and railway stations.

Together with the Government, the World Health Organization and other international partners such UNICEF, the GPEI looks forward to reaching “every last child” with a vaccine. But the financial support of the private sector will be critical to success. The ALFI Foundation, for instance – set up by investor and philanthropist Alshair Fiyaz – has recently channelled funds to support UNICEF’s work in strengthening surveillance on the disease, and maintaining technical and medical support for prevention.

The G20 countries gave another major boost to the campaign when they met in Japan last month – declaring the “commitment to eradicate polio” in the very near future. In Abu Dhabi, where the GPEI next meets this November, it promises to unveil a roadmap towards “finishing the job”. Let’s hope, for the sake of Pakistan’s children, that it can.-SAEED NIAZI

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 13 June 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 13, 2024 (Thursday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.6 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 296 and selling rate is 299 while British Pound rate is 350.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75 and Saudi Riyal at 75.9.

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.6 280.65
Euro EUR 296 299
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.1 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 182 184
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.88 748.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206
China Yuan CNY 38.38 38.78
Danish Krone DKK 40.14 40.54
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.66 36.01
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.19 917.19
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.3 59.9
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.79 172.79
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.97 26.27
Omani Riyal OMR 723.52 731.52
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203.5 205.5
Swedish Korona SEK 26.4 26.7
Swiss Franc CHF 309.94 312.44
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71


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