Kingdom donates polio medication to Pakistan

A Pakistani health worker administers polio vaccination drops to a girl in a van in Bannu, in this June 26, 2014 photo.

A Pakistani health worker administers polio vaccination drops to a girl in a van in Bannu, in this June 26, 2014 photo.

Saudi Arabia donated over 10 million doses of polio vaccine to Pakistan on Tuesday to help the country contain the crippling disease.

Khayyam Akbar, charge d’ affaires at the Pakistan Embassy, told Arab News that the consignment has already arrived at Islamabad airport and was received by Saudi Embassy officials in the Pakistani capital.

The Saudi embassy handed over 10,035,000 doses of polio vaccine to authorities of Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) on the same day.

Akbar registered his thanks to the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Abdullah for this magnanimous gesture.

The Saudi government pledged to donate vaccine to Pakistan during the World Health Assembly meeting held in May.

The doses will be administered to every Pakistani intending to travel abroad in line with the World Health Organization’s travel restrictions on Pakistan.

Pakistan is one of only three countries, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio remains endemic and its persistence is considered a threat to the possible spread of polio to other countries.

Travel restrictions mean Pakistanis traveling abroad must be vaccinated against polio before leaving the country.

A total of 82 people in Pakistan tested positive for the disease in 2014, while 63 of these cases were reported in the North Waziristan region of the country.

 

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