PESHAWAR: “With only two cases surfaced during 2016, as compared to 179 in 2014, we are very much close to eradication the killer disease of polio from FATA” said Engr Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) here on Monday. He was addressing an impressive ceremony to mark the launching of the First Polio Eradication campaign in FATA of 2017 at Governor’s House. The Governor also formally administered drops of polio vaccination vaccine to children in presence of a large number of participants. “We are here today with an understanding to make FATA Polio Free by March 2017”, the Governor said at the largely attended ceremony by all concerned. Jhagra said that political commitment, involvement of civil society, religious scholars (ulema) and media have played a vital role in achieving appreciable results. He appreciated the efforts of parents, the communities, levies force, Pak army and polio teams in FATA for extraordinary efforts and achievements in this respect. “I am confident that with the support of security agencies, polio teams could meet any challenge to reaching out and vaccinate every child and eradicate polio from FATA up till March 2017”, the Governor said. “Indeed it was an unprecedented team effort from EOC, parliamentarians, Ulemas and communities which have brought FATA so close to polio eradication”, he said. “However, we cannot afford to relax now and ensure that there is dire need during next three campaigns of 2017 will defeat polio virus from this entire tribal belt,” he added. He said that despite having a huge and porous border with Afghanistan, one must commend the efforts of polio teams including administrative and health officials for almost eliminating polio virus from tribal regions. He urged the concerned officials to extend all possible help and support to polio teams to achieve the goal of polio eradication in FATA. The Governor said “Polio eradication is a national emergency and no stone should be left unturned to realize our long cherished dream of ridding our country of a polio virus”. Additional Chief Secretary/EOC Coordinator Dr Fida Mohammad Wazir, Director Health Services FATA Dr. Jawad Habib Khan, Additional Political Agent Khyber Agency Mir Raza Ozgan, partner organizations, other relevant health and administrative institutions also attended the ceremony. Lower Dir: Like other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), a three-day anti-polio campaign began in Lower Dir district on Monday. Deputy Commissioner Irfanullah Wazir and DHO Shaukat Ali vaccinated children at the DHQ Hospital Timergara during a function attended by health officials and local elders. District Nazim Muhammad Rasool Khan, Assistant Commissioner Maidan Jamaluddin, DSP Darvesh Khan, Medical Superintendent Timergara hospital Dr Hanifullah, in-charge polio eradication programme Dr Shahid Ahmad and DMS Dr Mehboob were also present. Speaking on the occasion, Irfanullah Wazir and Shaukat Ali said the district had been polio free for the last eight years. They said that Lower Dir had got second position in the province in successful drive against the fatal disease. The deputy commissioner directed all the stakeholders to take serious the campaign and cooperate with health staff. He asked the health authorities to reach every child below five years of age in remote and snow-covered border areas of the district.