LAHORE: Chairman International Polio Plus Committee Michael K McGovern has urged Punjab to share practices and experience with other provinces for achiving the goal of making Pakistan polio free.

In a meeting with provincial health authorities at DG Health office on Thursday, he appreciated Punjab for improving routine immunization coverage.

Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq, Secretary Health Jawad Rafiq Malik, DG Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz represented the government. Representatives from UNICEF, WHO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were also present.

Michael K McGovern said the setting up of Emergency Operation Centre would give a boost to polio eradication efforts. Kh Salman Rafiq said that no polio case has been reported from Punjab this year due to strict accountability mechanism and complete ownership by the leadership.–Staff Reporter

Jawad Rafiq Malik said that Punjab faced a challenge of transmission from mobile population especially from reservoir areas. He said the government had set up permanent transit points at strategically important routes linking with other provinces. He said that the recent environmental samples were also negative.

Aziz Memon, National Chair Pakistan Polio Plus Committee, said that in the post-18thamendment scenario, Punjab’s leadership role had assumed more significance. Appreciating Punjab’s latest advancements, he said reducing gap between policy and implementation was the key to success.

Earlier, DG health Punjab said that south Punjab, as part of renewed focus on central Pakistan, was being given special attention. He said coordination with districts of bordering provinces was enhanced and a focal person for central Pakistan was also nominated.