Polio vaccination
Polio vaccination Reuters

Pakistan and Afghanistan have thanked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its help in efforts to fight polio in the two countries.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two endemic countries in the eastern Mediterranean for polio, where the efforts for its eradication are still on. In the last two years, Pakistan has made significant strides and fortunately, in 2018 we have not had any polio case reported to date," said Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, Coordinator at the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Pakistan.

"But simultaneously we do have six cases reported from the bordering districts of Afghanistan. The virus is also peering into the environment and sewerage samples of Pakistan in multiple districts so that remains a major worry," he said on Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting on polio eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan hosted by the UAE.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan are working together like one team and we are going to come up with very concrete plans," said Safdar.

Dr Maiwand Ahmadzai, Director of the EOC in Afghanistan, said the polio eradication programme in Afghanistan was running on a neutral basis.