The prestigious “SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN” Journal of April 2012 has reported in an article titled “POLIO’S LAST ACT” by Helen Branswell that “As the number of cases of the paralytic disease fall, world health officials have to grapple with a vexing problem: a component of the most widely used polio vaccine now causes more disease than the virus it is supposed to fight”. The problem is caused by use of a weakened virus in the three types 1, 2 and 3. Out of these type 2 no longer exists in nature since past 13 years. However this component can revert to disease – causing pathogens and provoke the very illness they are meant to prevent. An expensive alternate vaccine popular in wealthy countries made up of “killed viruses is known as IPV costing $ 3 a dose as an injunction while the oral polio drops cost 15 cents a dose. The WHO’s governing council will be asked to approve the early withdrawal of type 2 strain at its annual meeting in May this year. An average of over 1000 cases of polio have been reported yearly in the world from 2000 to 2010 caused by the wild type viruses while 120 children get polio every year as a result of oral inoculatation. This is a signal for the health authorities in poor countries to consider the cautious use of polio drops currently in use.

DR.MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI,

Lahore, May 5.