govt committed to quality health care, prevention of diseases:President

President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday that provision of quality health care and prevention of disease were at the top of government’s social agenda.

Addressing the launch of National Emergency Action Plan 2011 for Polio Eradication here at the President House, Zardari said that the government of Pakistan People’s Party and its coalition partners were committed to eradicating polio from the country.

The President also announced civil awards and conferred President’s Award for Pride of Performance on Aziz Memon, Chairman of Pakistan National Polio Plus committee and Sitar-e Khidmat on Dr Robert S. Scott, Chairman of Rotary International Polio Plus Committee and Chairman of the Rotary International.

The event was attended by Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, federal ministers, ministers of state, provincial health ministers and members of parliament.

President Zardari said that the comprehensive plan for polio eradication, prepared by health managers and professionals, was clear and doable and should address issues of access, insecurity, accountability and ownership.

He also appreciated the commitment of the entire leadership of the country who came together earlier this month to review and endorse the new National Emergency Plan.

“I assure you that there will be strict oversight of the plan at the national and provincial levels through monitoring cells,” he informed.

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.