Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aziz Memon conferred Pride of Performance award

Aziz Memon
By Mohammad Nazakat Ali

KARACHI: The President of Pakistan, Mr Asif Ali Zardari, has announced civil awards and conferred President's Award for Pride of Performance on Aziz Memon, Chairman Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee and Sitar-e Khidmat on Dr Robert S. Scott, Chairman Rotary International Polio Plus Committee and Chairman, the Rotary International.

The announcement was made by President Asif Zardari the other day when he formally launched the National Emergency Action Plan 2011 for Polio Eradication at the President House in Islamabad by administering polio drops to orphaned children from all the provinces vowing to eradicating polio from the country.

The President complimented the Ministry of Health, the provincial health departments, the Rotary International, the diplomatic community and international partner agencies in making the launch of this program possible and thanked them for their support in the fight against polio.

The President noted that Pakistan has come a long way from 1994, when the polio eradication campaign was first launched formally and the number of cases was more than 30,000.

"Our aim is to make Pakistan completely polio free. We aim that no child lives in the fear of being crippled for life," he observed.

The President said Polio was a crippling disease and continues to threaten opportunities for children. He said unfortunately Pakistan was among few countries which were still not completely polio free.

"We are committed to banish polio from Pakistan," the President said and pointed that the Polio Eradication Initiative was, first launched by the government of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

The President said the Lady Health Workers Programme and Polio Eradication Initiative were both launched by her government and added that it was intended to bring primary health care services to those that need them the most.

"It was a demonstration of her commitment to improving the social sector, particularly the health of children," the President said.

He said she was the first Prime Minister to have personally administered polio drops, to a Pakistani child. "That child was no less than our own daughter, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari," he added.
He said the government has nominated Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, as Pakistan's Ambassador for Polio Eradication and said she was committed to carry forward the mission of her great mother and hope for the people.

"Together she will work with you to end polio. Together we will end polio from the country," he said.

The President said the comprehensive plan for polio eradication, prepared by health managers and professionals was clear and doable, and called for addressing the issues of access, insecurity, accountability and ownership.

The President said that Pakistan needs to produce polio vaccines within the country and said that during his last visit to China the two countries signed an MOU on cooperation in manufacture of vaccines.

"Hopefully this cooperation will also be extended to manufacture of polio vaccines in Pakistan for nation wide anti polio programs.

The President recalled his meeting with Bill Gates, during his recent visit to the United States and said the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation were providing great support to the cause of polio eradication.

"I wish to acknowledge and appreciate the Gates Foundation's contribution to saving Pakistani children from polio," he lauded.

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