ISLAMABAD - The legendary cricketer Wasim Akram has been made Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme Ambassador in order to create awareness among masses about the crippling disease and muster their support for the effective execution of the vaccination drive across the country.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza made formal announcement in this regard on Thursday after signing of an agreement between coordinator Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme and Wasim Akram here.

“Under the agreement, Wasim will participate in polio vaccination awareness programmes,” he said while addressing the ceremony.

“It is our top priority to protect children from polio. 260,000 workers are the true heroes of the polio programme. Together we shall pledge to eradicate polio,” said Mirza.

Wasim, Mirza hoped, would play a vital role in eliminating polio from Pakistan. The Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme now has the best leadership to meet the challenges,” Mirza added.

Speaking on the occasion, Wasim Akram said, “All political parties should play their role in eliminating polio virus from the country as all children have the right to be protected from the crippling diseases.”

He urged the nation to join the programme in order to defeat polio, adding, “Two drops of anti-polio vaccine are the only source of prevention.”

He said, “Let’s pledge to make this country polio-free. Success against polio will be ours.”

World Polio Day is celebrated on October 24 every year to pay tributes to the polio workers. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the polio virus is present.