Polio Resurgence in Pakistan

Posted on May 16, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Health & Disease
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Owais Mughal

Last year we carried out this post on Polio Vaccination Drive Facing Threat in Pakistan. In a disturbing development, polio which had almost been eradicated from Pakistan is making a resurgence.

The target of getting Pakistan polio free was for 2010 but according to Dawn news report of May 15, 2008, eight cases have so far been reported in this year alone. All of these 2008 cases so far belong to Sindh province. This shows the rebirth as well as spread of the virus. It is said that peak transmission season of polio starts in June. Doctors also say that if a single case of polio is reported in any part of a country it indicates outbreak of the disease.

There is the strongest need to curtail the spread of this ghastly disease from spilling over to other provinces as well as nip it in Sindh too. So who should be blamed for this resurgence? The usual suspects ofcourse are those who manage the public health issues as well as those who administer the vaccines to children.

An excerpt from Dawn news goes like this:

The cases reported are from Nawabshah district (Jan 1), Hyderabad (Jan 25), Shikarpur (Feb 25), Karachi (April 1), Mirpurkhas (April 5), Naushahro Feroze (April 6), Jacobabad (April 9) and Dadu (April 23).

A study of the cases indicated widespread circulation of wild polio virus type-1 having its origin in Karachi which is now considered to be a reservoir serving for WPV1 circulation in the province.

The sources said that rigorous action for high-quality vaccination was needed, particularly in June before the start of the peak transmission season.

Meanwhile, Sindh Health Secretary Shafiq A. Khoso has issued notices to executive district officers, health, calling for disciplinary action against lady health workers, vaccinators and other personnel who had failed to fulfil their responsibility.

The secretary was unhappy over reports that four of the polio victims reported during the current year had not received a single routine immunisation dose, the sources said.

According to another Dawn news report of last year (April 23, 2007):

Some medical experts are of the view that the government considers such campaigns the only tool to deal with the problem and never bothers to take into account the drug used in vaccine. Sometimes the people engaged in the door-to-door campaigns may have no idea about maintaining the temperature of the vaccine, they add.

So what can we do in our own individual space to stop this menace of a diesease? One obvious thing that comes to mind is to create awareness among our circle of influence, friends and family. To educate people who may not know that a smiple vaccine of few drops may save their children from a life long disability that comes with polio.

Before ending this post, I will again give link to our co-editor Darwaish’s post on polio here, which is also a very good source of information on this disease.

Photo Credits: Ali Mohani at Flickr.com

8 responses to “Polio Resurgence in Pakistan”

  1. D_a_n says:

    what hope for polio Eradication when you have Mullah’s stopping polio teams and killing health workers for doing so….

  2. ShahidnUSA says:

    Spread the awareness. Usually vaccines are refrigerated. They are transported in ice packs.Oral vaccines may be more stable.Hopefully they are following the instructions on storage and administration.

  3. Once in a discussion, few doctors and pharmacists showed their concern about the validity of these vaccines…. few of them witnessed expired vaccines being delivered to children

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    @ All Pakistanis must attack this one of the
    Khabisse enemies of Humanity together with
    examplary solidarity without political disputes.

  5. Ghazala Khan says:

    Vaccination for polio must be done quickly and correctly to get this eradicated 100%. Having vaccinated from dispensaries may not work properly as the vaccines, often, are not kept in the right environments….

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