By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Friday, July 24, 2020 (WNP/DL): Japanese Ambassador MATSUDA Kuninori Friday lauded the resumption of polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan on July 20 after a four-month suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“A total of 58 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan as of July 20, in the current year, Japan welcomes Pakistan’s initiative to eradicate polio in the country, including the first round of the resumed campaign which will cover Faisalabad, Attock, South Waziristan, Karachi and Quetta, with a target of vaccinating about 800,000 children under the age of five,” he said.
Ambassador MATSUDA Kuninori noted that since 1996, Japan had been supporting Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate polio, with a cumulative total of $229 million.
“Japan’s assistance has been used for vaccines, cooling equipment for vaccines, vaccinators’ daily allowance, educational activities, virus inspection equipment to prevent the spread of polio infection in Pakistan,” he added.
He expressed the hope that the first round of vaccination campaign would be successful and the subsequent campaign in the second half of this year would be implemented as planned.
“I would like to salute health staff engaged in the campaign under challenging circumstances such as COVID-19 and security threat,” he added.
The ambassador said in addition to providing support to Pakistan for fighting against COVID-19, the government of Japan would continue to work hand-in-hand with the government of Pakistan and the international community to achieve a “polio-free Pakistan”.