KARACHI: Emergency Coordinator, Provincial Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication and Immunization, Dr Mohammad Usman Chachar, on Wednesday said all world health experts are utilizing their energies to eradicate polio from Pakistan in order to make world free from crippling disease.
This he said while addressing an orientation session on the theme of “The Role of Media in Polio Eradication” for health journalists on polio reporting, polio eradication in Pakistan, myths and realities as well as vaccine management, which was organized by Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in collaboration with the Sindh Health Department, UNICEF and Rotary International.
Dr Chachar said Pakistan is making significant progress in the fight against polio, with a 75% reduction this year as compared to last year; the polio cases declined to 29 in August 2015 from 115 in August 2014. He said despite this progress, Pakistan still accounts for 85% of the world’s polio cases, and too many children in key high-risk areas of the country remain unimmunized and unprotected against the polio virus.
He informed that in 1988, there were 125 polio infected countries, with greater than 350,000 polio cases per year and world health assembly held at Almatay, passed a resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio. He further informed that in 2014, only three countries were endemic — Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. He said Nigeria has not reported wild polio virus (WPV) cases since July 2014, and now Pakistan and Afghanistan are only countries with active viral circulation.
He said at least 29 polio cases have been reported across the Pakistan in 2015, out of the global 35 detected cases. He said there are four polio cases detected in Sindh province this year, out of which two were reported from Dadu, one each from Sukkur and Qambar-Shahdadkot, respectively.
Dr Chachar said there are 440,000 children under five years, who have not received any polio vaccine dose, out of which 245,000 are from Baluchistan, 75,000 from Sindh, 51,000 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 60,000 from FATA and zero in Punjab province.
He said last push is needed to eradicate polio virus from Pakistan to make the world free from crippling disease with better preventive measure and strategies.
Maulana Umer Saddiq said Ulema are also playing their due role to eradicate polio from Pakistan through their speeches and sermons. He hoped that country will be become polio free with coordinated efforts from all stakeholders of the society.