Islamabad: Pakistan will receive a financial assistance from Japan for procurement of 16 million doses of oral polio vaccine which is sufficient to vaccinate over 14 million children under the age of five in 10 mop-up campaigns this year. The campaigns are targeted for those areas where the virus was last reported and where the access to healthcare services is difficult, densely populated areas with poor sanitation and low levels of routine immunisation.
Officials of the Japanese Government, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) yesterday gathered at the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) and signed an agreement of 360 million Japanese yen grant to support interruption of wild polio virus in Pakistan, reports Dawn.
Asserting that the funds came at the crucial time, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, said that the virus have been cornered in only three remaining sanctuaries — the Khyber-Peshawar corridor, Karachi and the Quetta block. She also acknowledged that Japan had consistently been helping children in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Junya Matsuura, the charge d’affaires of the Japanese embassy, asserted that his country’s commitment to ensure the eradication of police would continue. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief representative Yasuhiro Tojo expressed hope that the grant would serve as a drive for the final phase of Pakistan’s fight against polio virus. Japan has been supporting Pakistan since 1996 in its polio eradication initiative.