Pakistan to be declared ‘Polio Free Country’ soon due to govt’s efforts: minister

FAISALABAD: Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Akram Ansari on Sunday said that Pakistan would soon be declared as a “polio-free country” because of the sincere, committed and continuous efforts of the incumbent government and urged the private sector to expedite its efforts for the rehabilitation of polio stricken children.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a polio rehabilitation center in Surriya Majeed Hospital in Faisalabad, Ansari said that government was making all-out efforts to provide the best possible health facilities to the poor segments of the society.

“It is encouraging that NGOs and local philanthropists are equally contributing in this sector,” he said and appreciated the efforts of Faisalabad Platinum Lions Club for contributing its role in the establishment of the state of the art rehabilitation centre.

The minister said that successive anti-polio campaigns had been launched in the last couple of years. “During these campaigns children up to the age of five years are dispensed polio drops free of cost,” he said.

He said that in case of identification of any polio case, extra campaigns were also being arranged for those specific areas. He hoped that although polio was under control, the campaigns to dispense polio drops would continue in the near future to save the children from any threat of the crippling disease.

Ansari also underlined the need for the rehabilitation of polio stricken children and appreciated the establishment of the centre in Surriya Majeed Hospital. He particularly thanked the efforts of Haji Mohammad Siddiq and Adrees Sidhay Mian who were donating generously to run the free of cost medical facility. He said that other philanthropists should also follow their footprints and play their role for the provision of free healthcare facilities to the poor and needy.

Earlier, Haji Mohammad Siddiq said that free medical facilities were being provided to the residents of the locality through Surriya Majeed Hospital. He said that poor parents were unable to bear the costly expenditure of their polio stricken children. He said that the centre would provide free rehabilitations facilities to polio stricken children so that they could be rehabilitated as productive members of the society.

Adrees Sidhay Mian said that Faisalabad Platinum Lions Club was also supplementing the efforts of the hospital in addition to providing potable water, particularly to the localities where WASA lines were not available and sub-soil water was also brackish. He said that the club had been regularly organising free hepatitis and sugar camps at the hospital and they would continue to organise such camps in the future as well. He said that Faisalabad Platinum Lions Club was also planning to provide a dialysis machine to extend the facility of free dialysis to the poor kidney patients of the locality.

Later, Ansari, along with other guests, distributed tricycles, motorcycles and toys among the polio stricken children. Former Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) president Chaudhary Mohammad Nawaz, SVP Rana Sikandar Azam, Haji Mohammad Abid, Atif Munir, Rashid Munir and Dr Abid Rasheed also spoke on the occasion.