Seeing is believing – German Delegation praises Pakistan’s progress towards polio eradication
A delegation of German embassy and BMZ officials in Pakistan called on the Coordinator of National Emergency Centre (EOC), Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar here the other day to get an orientation on Pakistan Polio Program and explore the possibilities of cooperation in this regard.
The visiting delegation included Dr. Henning Plate, Head of Division Afghanistan/Pakistan, BMZ, Dr Christina Bollin, Senior Policy Officer Pakistan, BMZ, Ms Almut Knop, First Secretary, German Embassy and Mr Wolfgang Moellers, Director KfW office, Pakistan.
Dr Rana Safdar briefed the delegates about EOC structure, schedules of national and sub national campaigns, vaccine cold storage chain management, surveillance and monitoring structures. “Emergency Operations Centers have become instrumental in bringing about marked difference in the quality of campaigns across Pakistan resultantly cornering the polio virus in just three areas,” he informed the delegates.
Pakistan has seen a marked reduction of 64 % in polio cases. More than 37 million children are vaccinated during the national campaigns by a dedicated team of Sehat Muhafiz. Environmental sampling is carried out in over 300 sites across Pakistan to ensure that virus do not go undetected anywhere across the country, delegation was informed.
The delegates were taken to cold chain warehouse to witness the handling of the OPV and IPV doses. A briefing was also arranged for the delegation at the laboratory of National Institute of Health where environmental samples and polio virus detection is carried out.
Dr Henning Plate said that the delegation was overwhelmed by the impressive work EOC has done with regard to polio eradication in Pakistan. He said that “seeing is believing and once can see that how close this structure and system has brought Pakistan to eradication of polio.” He hoped that BMZ would look forward to working with the EOC in this noble cause and would like to explore further possibilities. Ummah they deserve to be.