Pakistan’s health ministry has said that if new funds are not arranged for the delayed anti-polio campaign, it is likely to halt after two months, Dawn online reported on Thursday. An health official said that the ministry was running out of funds.
The Economic Coordination Council (ECC) was supposed to approve funds for the campaign in the second week of August, but it has not been allocated owing to a political crisis.
The Islamic Development Bank, Japan and other organisations were to provide a loan of $326 million, with the interest on the amount to be paid by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the official said.
“If the funds are not arranged in the next two months, the ministry would be left with no option but to halt the countrywide polio campaign,” the official added. In Nov, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will review the temporary travel restrictions it imposed on Pakistan in May, on the recommendation of the International Health Regulations, which made it mandatory for every person intending to travel abroad to produce a polio vaccination certificate at the airport.
For now, it is obligatory on the government to vaccinate each person going out of the country, the official said. A total of 115 polio cases has been registered in Pakistan this year. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only 39 polio cases were registered last year. Of the 115 cases registered this year, 84 are from federally administered tribal areas, 19 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 from Sindh and one each from Punjab and Balochistan provinces.
Source: One India News