Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

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PU to support polio eradication initiative
PU to support polio eradication initiative

LAHORE: (Monday, April 25, 2022): Punjab University and The Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) have entered into a landmark partnership to work together to fight misinformation and dispel misconceptions in the fight against the crippling disease like polio. The partnership has been signed by the Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad and Ms Syedah Ramallah Ali, the head of the Emergency Operations Centre in Punjab (EOCP). As part of the partnership, the Punjab University and EOCP will support and strengthen the efforts of the polio eradication initiative and jointly contribute to the national cause. The partnership is aimed at providing support in carrying out qualitative research of different categories to get greater insight and a comprehensive understanding of behaviors that influence the vaccination of a child. The EOCP and PU will jointly develop interventions to enhance the demand of vaccinations in communities in the critical phase of eradication. The partnership envisages collaboration in research. The PU may provide students in relevant communities for research data collection.
The partnership will further pave the way for PU students to act as influencers for the polio programme. In his message, the vice chancellor of the Punjab University Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad hailed the progress achieved in polio eradication and pledged to support all efforts towards the national cause. “The progress towards the eradication of this crippling disease, which is endemic in only two countries globally, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, is extraordinary. The government’s leadership and efforts towards the cause need support and appreciation from all quarters of the community,” the vice chancellor stated. Despite two extremely difficult years, 2019 and 2020, the Pakistan polio programme has been able to control polio cases and circulation. In 2021, only one polio case was reported nationally as compared to 84 the previous year. “A long gap in campaigns, the lockdown and the overall pandemic emergency affected polio eradication efforts. But owing to government leadership and the hard work of polio teams very fruitful results have been achieved,” said Ms Syedah Ramallah Ali, the coordinator of the Emergency Operations Centre Punjab. “I am conscious of the fact that there is long way to go. Rumors and misinformation have the potential to erode the gains made in polio eradication. In this phase, we need the support of parents and civil society. Therefore, the partnership will help build the critical support from all sections of society,” the EOCP Coordinator emphasized.