Polio is caused by a virus known as poliovirus. This virus usually enters the body through the mouth or nose which further travels inside our respiratory (breathing) and digestive systems. Pakistan, along with very few other less developed countries, remains the last polio-endemic country to eradicate the virus. There are organisations such as WHO, UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Rotary International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also known as CDC. ]. The government was able to control the disease for many years but due to the factors mentioned there is again a rise in the cases of polio. There have also been weaknesses in project management as the government lacked in providing sanitation and clean water which basically resulted in the spread.

The world has been fighting against polio for a very long time. It was reported that in 1988, there were around 350,000 cases of wild polio spread across 125 countries and in 2018, there were only 33 cases reported in two of the countries. The efforts to eradicate polio over the last few years basically meant that there were over 18 million reported cases of paralysis which were averted. The success in eradicating polio will result in children being safe from this disease and no child will ever have to experience the unfortunate effects of this disease again. On the other hand, there is a lack of planning from the government’s health department for the eradication of polio on a large scale as the health administration is only targeting and focusing on the vaccination of children which is being done multiple times in a year. This further added mistrust and doubt in the mind of the general public. A fair and a must share is not provided to the healthcare sector of the country and the needs of the people are being neglected. Form the year 2013 and 2014 there have been reports of different militant groups in Pakistan that are targeting Polio vaccination teams and these incidents mostly took place in FATA and KPK. After the several brutal attacks on vaccination teams which resulted in the killing of a lot of polio workers that were on the duty of vaccinating the children in the area. This resulted in stopping the campaign in FATA. Significant progress was made in Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate the disease. With case rates dropping from 1803 in 1994 to 28 cases in 2006, polio eradication appeared to be a possibility. So to make positive progress in the project for eradication of polio some of the points mentioned below should be considered:

  1. Providing security to the medical teams and medical workers that are operating in tribal areas by providing polio drops to the children.
  2. There was a misconception that the vaccines are being made from pig fat as discussed above so it should be made clear by the government through advertisements that it is just a myth.
  3. Proper workforce should be hired by the government that is motivated to work and for the projects related to health the government can hire internees and train them to work properly and this will help in the development of the individual and they can later be hired for a permanent job.
  4. There should be accountability of the workforce so that if any person is not following the policies then he or she should be held responsible.

ALI HAIDER,

Lahore.