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Pakistani team learning success of polio drive in Bihar

Press Trust of India
Feb 25, 2013 at 03:40am IST

Patna: Impressed with success of anti-polio campaign in Bihar, a four-member team from Pakistan is in Patna on the invitation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take tips about the programme particularly in minority Muslim dominated areas.

On the start of five-day polio eradication drive in the state beginning on Sunday, the Pakistani team visited Samanpura in Raza Bazar area in Patna to see for themselves the success of the programme among Muslim community.

The team from neighbouring country interacted with people in Samanpura, District Governor of Rotary International LB Singh said. The head of the Pakistani team and past district president of Rotary club there, Shahab Balki said that he had a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at Karachi during his week-long visit to that country in November last year when he had invited them to see success of polio campaign in the state.

Pakistani team learning success of polio drive in Bihar

India has been removed from the list of endemic polio countries last year.

Besides, Balki, three doctors - Hanif Khilji, Farha Issa and Pradeep Kumar form part of the team from the neighbouring country. Balki said on reaching Patna on Saturday the team had an interaction with state government officials and those from WHO to know about details of the polio drive.

"We got good experience," Balki said. Hanif Khilji said that they would be in the state till February 28 and will visit different districts including Gaya, Motihari and Muzaffarpur to have a first-hand view of anti-polio campaign in Bihar.

Working in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of the US, Bihar through intensive polio drive has stamped out the disease. India has also been removed from the list of endemic polio countries last year.

Pakistan along with Nigeria and Afghanistan still figure in the list. Balki said though the number of polio cases went down in Pakistan to 47 in 2012 from 212 in 2011, much still needs to be done.

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