Polio: A Huge Embarrassment

By: Najeebullah Shar

Abbreviation of Polio is poliomyelitis, an acute and sometimes destructive disease caused by a virus. Human being is the only natural host for polio virus. The virus enters the mouth and multiplies in lymphoid tissues in the throat and intestine.

As a major illness, polio may or may not be paralytic. Symptoms usually appear without earlier illness, particularly in older children and adults, 7-14 days after exposure. Symptoms are fever, severe headache, stiff neck and back, deep muscle pain.

About 450,000 children die every in Pakistan, of them one-third deaths, that is 150,000, are due to vaccine preventable disorders. At least some 90,000 child deaths can be prevented every year through universal vaccination.

 We are living in the world of technology, which brings latest technology know-how, knowledge and information at the fingertips of grounds for their rapid prosperity, where every coming day new things are being invented and which make the life easier. But still in Pakistan, some people's lives are very different and complicated due to polio disease.

In Pakistan, over 173 cases were officially reported during 2011. Until the end of the month of February, 13 new polio cases were detected this year.

 In 2012, polio cases were reported from Hyderabad and Naushehro Feroze in Sindh, Bahawalnagar in Punjab and Khyber Agency in Fata. In Balochistan, districts bordering Afghanistan and Karachi in Sindh remained high-risk areas.

The World Health Organization has warned Pakistan, if the polio virus was not contained, it could face serious consequences such as travel and visa restrictions and sanctions imposed by countries across the world.

Despite the challenges, Pakistan is very much capable of addressing the issues that fail us in reaching out to the children with vaccine.

Pakistan needs to revise its strategy to address the implementation including, improving campaign quality, enhancing routine immunization coverage, addressing social and cultural constraints.

 Pakistan is working with multiple international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations to snub polio throughout the country.