According to the website of End Polio Pakistan, 58 polio cases were reported in Pakistan this year.
What is Polio?
Poliomyelitis or polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system and sometimes leads to paralysis. The virus commonly affects younger children under the age of 5.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), America, Europe, Western Pacific and Southeast Asia are the polio free regions whereas, polio is still persistent in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
Polio in Pakistan
Pakistan is one of the three polio endemic countries. According to the WHO, polio continues primarily in FATA and the neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the country. Currently, polio virus circulation is limited to certain areas of KP/FATA and Karachi’s Gadap.
The situation deteriorated, largely owing to regional conflict, continuing ban by militants on immunization, insecurity and the killing of the polio workers in the field.
In the present year, 58 polio cases were registered. 4 cases were reported in Balochistan, 44 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5 in Sindh, and 5 in Punjab.
Hurdles in eradication of polio in Pakistan
Taliban of Afghanistan issued a Fatwa against vaccination saying that it is funded by non-Muslims especially Americans to unfertile.
Another hurdle was the rumor about the polio vaccine that it is not Halal and contains pig fat. The rumor created many problems and opposition in the Muslim community. It even created tough time for polio workers.
Government’s part in eradicating polio from Pakistan
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had called a meeting to discuss the rise in polio cases and formulate a strategy for its eradication.
An anti-polio campaign will be starting from Monday for the vaccination of the children.
The focal person on polio eradication, Babar Atta has requested parents for their co-operation with the teams.
“People shouldn’t trust rumors and let teams administer drops to their children.” Atta said
He further added,
“We can only end polio if the parents help and support us.”