Message from the President November-December 2014

I just left Bhurban hill station some 500 kilometers away from my home in Lahore after delivering a lecture and attending the three-day consultative workshop on Ending Polio in Pakistan by end 2015: the final opportunity and call for action" with 180 health personnel associated with the polio programme across the country finalising action plans to arrest polio during the next six months that are marked by low transmission of the virus.

This event was Organized by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination (NHSRC), the workshop started on November 18 and concluded on Thursday with the Ministe of State Saira Afzal Tarar in the chair.

All provincial representatives and Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio, secretary of the Ministry of NHSRC, representatives from GHQ, UAE government, and development partners participated in the session.

As medical professionals and members of IMAs committed to MDG-2015, we shall be mindful to our international commitments, but that should come later and we should be accountable to our own people, to our children, communities, and families. It must be very clear that we are on a mission to save our own children and have no choice but to perform and make it happen.

Polio cases have dropped 99% worldwide since 1988, but the disease continues to persist in a handful of Muslim majority countries. We have an opportunity and a duty to end polio once and for all, and I'm reaching out to ask for your support.

Standing behind polio eradiation means much more than just eliminating the threat of this crippling disease, it's also about protecting the health of future generations. The polio program provides a foundation to reach all children with other vaccines and health interventions.

But a polio-free world can only be possible with support from all levels of Muslim communities. A growing number of political and religious leaders in the Muslim world are taking action to end polio. Imams have issued nearly 30 fatwas promoting the safety of polio vaccines and a range of Muslim donors, from goverments to philanthrophists, have contributed critical funds to the eradication effort.

As Muslim physicians, we have a particularly important role to play. Our voices are crucial to both educate our communnities on vaccines and advocate for eradication at a policy-level.

That is why the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) is launching the Muslim Physicians' Call to Action on Polio Eradication and Children's Health, an initiative to unite Muslim physicians against polio, and call for country and global leaders to prioritize eradication.

A large number of our IMA members have already signed on as a champion of the call to action and suggested that you would be interested in joining as well.

To sign on to the call to action, please complete this form:

The call to action will be officially launched in early 2015. We ask that you do not publish the call to action text publically until we finish collecting signatures.

Dr. Tanveer Zubairi
President, FIMA

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 22:15
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