Code 206719
PublishDate: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 10:52

Afghanistan and Pakistan to work together to fight polio

Pakistan and Afghanistan will further strengthen cross-border cooperation next year by synchronizing campaigns to fight the polio virus.

According to #Pakistan’s_Polio_Eradication Program, this was decided during a video conference on Tuesday between polio eradication teams in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. 

The polio eradication teams of both countries agreed to continue sharing information and the #synchronization of campaign dates in 2021 to tackle #poliovirus_transmission effectively, a statement issued by the Polio Eradication Program read. 

“With intertwined communities and massive population movements between Pakistan and Afghanistan continued alignment of the vaccination schedule of both countries is critical to stop transmission of the virus,” the organization stated.

Rana Safdar, the Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre of the Pakistan Polio Eradication Program and EPI meanwhile said: “Pakistan and Afghanistan are committed to working together as one team to tackle the polio virus transmission. 

“Historically such cooperation has played a major role in reducing the number of polio cases, and we are eager to maintain it,” he said.

Following up on Tuesday from the last meeting held in September, the teams analyzed challenges and opportunities and further agreed to notify each other on polio eradication progress and coordination. 

Pakistan Polio Eradication Program said in the statement that such cross-border cooperation has been contributing significantly to improve both countries’ capacity to track the polio virus and vaccinate susceptible children, especially amongst mobile populations who frequently travel across the #Pakistan-Afghanistan_border.  

Pakistan and Afghanistan are currently the only two countries in the world that continue to report polio cases. 

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in both countries, polio eradication campaigns and #vaccinations at permanent transit points and cross border vaccination sites were suspended in both countries until August.

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