Qatar Participates in Meeting for Regional Subcommittee on Polio Eradication

Doha, March 28 (QNA) – The State of Qatar participated in the tenth meeting of the Regional Subcommittee on Polio Eradication and Outbreaks at the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organization, which was held via videoconferencing.

HE Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari, who is the co-chair of the Regional Subcommittee concerned with the eradication of polio and addressing its outbreaks, represented the State of Qatar in the meeting.

In her address during the meeting, HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari emphasized the importance of concerted efforts within the Eastern Mediterranean region to eradicate polio, prevent future outbreaks, and ensure that no child is overlooked. She added, “Our commitment to surveillance must remain steadfast, with efforts towards early detection and accelerating the pace of response, in addition to fulfilling our duty to ensure effective and efficient cooperation and synergy across borders.”
She said, “The epidemiological data reveal that only one genetic group of the wild poliovirus is prevalent in a limited number of countries in the region in 2023 and 2024. These countries undertook rigorous vaccination campaigns last year.”
Her Excellency went on to clarify that “our goal to halt the spread of the infection has not been achieved, as two children were paralyzed this year due to the wild poliovirus – both from the aforementioned countries. Environmental surveillance for the detection of the poliovirus continues in areas outside those where the disease is endemic, and outbreaks of mutated poliovirus strains are ongoing in our region, some of which arise from the expansion of conflict and insecurity. This requires us to take swift and decisive action.”
HE Dr. Al Kuwari stressed the importance of focusing on the quality and effectiveness of vaccination campaigns, enhancing coverage, and developing innovative campaign strategies “to achieve our common vision of a world free of polio.” She further affirmed her continued support for the call to guarantee the right of every child to enjoy a future free of polio.

The meeting also served as a platform to discuss the latest developments and strategies in the fight against polio, reflecting a unified commitment across the Eastern Mediterranean to eradicate this disease. (QNA)