Dilemma of polio eradication

Bad state of affairs of polio eradication campaign can be visualized when we know that Pakistan is one of only two countries of the world that remain endemic for polio. Last year 220 cases of polio were reported but this year numbers have declined and only 40 cases have been surfaced yet.

One of the major hurdles in controlling the disease is lack of security conditions, killings of polio teams have been reported in last couple of years. A national anti-polio drive was supposed to be set from Thursday but due to lack of security arrangements it was cancelled in three districts of Sindh province. At the eleventh hour Sindh police backed off from their commitment to provide security to polio teams. According to the Sindh Emergency Operations Centre the Karachi police department stated it would be able to provide only 1,300 personnel rather than the promised 3,000.

International organizations like UNICEF and WHO and other international consultants were concerned as vaccination drive was called off in some districts of Sindh. Their reaction is of course hardly surprising given the spate of attacks on polio workers in the country, most notably over the past three years.

After raising the issue sanity prevailed and now Sindh Police has promised to provide security and vaccination campaign would start from Monday. In the recent past most cases of polio disease were reported in Karachi, perhaps migrants from across the country visit the mega city in search of employments. It is our responsibility to cooperate with the polio eradication teams because if children were not vaccinated they not only left in risk for themselves but also pose great risk for others. We should make sure that no child left out in this campaign and every child is vaccinated.

There should be no second opinion that ending polio from our country is a national priority.  

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