Message from the President December 2013-January 2014

A few years back the world was ready to witness and bid farewell to the deadly disease of Poliomyelitis, which took lives and made crippled millions of children since time immemorial.

Unfortunately this dream has not yet come true, owing to the fact that only three Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference remain endemic to the disease.

In all these three countries, national polio emergency action plans have been launched under the auspices of the offices of the heads of state, to rapidly interrupt the remaining chains of wild poliovirus transmission.

We make a note with grave concern the ongoing transmission of wild poliovirus in parts of Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, and remaining political, cultural, security, and societal obstacles preventing all children in these areas to be vaccinated against polio; and in particular, the tragic and deadly attacks against frontline health workers in parts of Pakistan since December 2012; a recent outbreak has again shown itself in 2014 when five polio workers have been killed in the hands of extremists.

In any region of country, polio eradication efforts require the full engagement of political and religious leaders, civil society organizations, medical fraternity, all sectors of society and Government to gain access to and vaccinate every last child.

At this critical juncture we have to recognize the potentially devastating and deadly consequences of not eradicating polio, that may result in large polio outbreaks in polio-free countries of the region, and as many as 200,000 new polio cases annually within the next ten years worldwide.

FIMA is now part of a strong global commitment to eradicated polio and the extraordinary investments made by national governments, international development agencies, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, in particular the generous financial commitments by the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the governments of the Republic of Turkey and Brunei-Darussalam.

It is high time that all Islamic religious and community leaders shall provide a strong message of support for polio eradication activities and the need to ensure all children are fully immunized against polio and all other vaccine-preventable diseases; the mobilization of all levels of civil society to overcome any remaining cultural, societal, political, or security obstacle currently preventing all children from being reached and immunized against polio, especially in areas of insecurity.

We have to ensure that all public and civil society leaders assures the safety and sanctity of frontline health workers to perform their heroic tasks in complete safety and security; and all Member States to help mobilize the necessary financial resources from governments, civil society, foundations, the private sector, and multi-lateral institutions, to enable the full implementation of all polio eradication strategies.

FIMA acknowledge and appreciate the tireless efforts of the millions of health workers, staff of the Ministries of Health, and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and pledge to deliver a world free from polio for all our children.

We will strive and play our supportive role in this war against this deadly disease till it is eradicated completely from the face of this earth.

Dr. Tanveer Zubairi
FIMA President

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 19:26
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