KARACHI – Emergency Coordinator, Provincial Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication and Immunization, Dr Muhammad Usman Chachar said here that all world health experts are utilizing their energies to eradicate polio from Pakistan so as to make the world free from crippling disease.
He was speaking at an orientation session held for journalists on the theme of “The Role of Media in Polio Eradication”. It was organized by Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in collaboration with the Sindh government’s health department, UNICEF and Rotary International.
Elaborating on the subject, Dr Chachar said Pakistan is making significant progress in the fight against polio, with a 75 per cent reduction in the number of cases between the same period this year and last year (from 115 cases in Aug, 2014 to 29 cases in Aug 2015). He said despite this progress, Pakistan still accounts for 85pc of the world’s polio cases, and too many children in key high-risk areas of the country remain unimmunized and unprotected against the 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 Almaty, passed resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio.
He told the participants 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 the only countries with active viral circulation.
He said at least 29 polio cases have been reported across Pakistan in 215 out of the global 35 detected cases. He said that out of four polio cases detected in Sindh this year, two were reported from Dadu and one each from Sukkur and Qambar-Shahdadkot.
Dr Chachar said there are 440,000 children under five year 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.
He said polio need last push to eradicate polio virus from Pakistan to make world free from crippling disease with better preventive measure and strategies.