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The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said on Sunday that the country has witnessed a 62 per cent drop in polio cases during the current year.

A 55pc reduction has also been noted, with the number of children missed for vaccination falling below 1pc compared to last year’s 1.5pc.

Despite the progress made, polio has remained a resilient foe in the country and 15 cases have been recorded this year.

“This clearly indicates we are not there yet, but it is the best indication that we are not very far from finish line,” said the spokesperson for the ministry.

He added that the ministry is vigilantly identifying and addressing the gaps and are adjusting and refining the tactics as required to achieve what would be a significant public health landmark for both Pakistan and the world.

The poliovirus is endemic in three countries - Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“As recently as the late 1980s, polio paralysed more than 350,000 children globally every year. Today more than 15 million people, who would otherwise be paralysed, are able to walk thanks to these efforts,” added the spokesperson.

He further elaborated that Pakistan has made a strong commitment for achieving this goal and the eradication of polio remains a top national priority.

“Anti-polio health workers vaccinate around 37 million children during every national campaign.”

Earlier this year, all the environmental samples for poliovirus tested negative.

A total of 40 samples, collected under the supervision of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in mid-April from 14 cities, were analysed at the National Institute of Health (NIH).

A sample is deemed positive if the polio virus is found in sewerage water, which is the basic parameter to determine if anti-polio campaigns have been successful.

While cases of polio can be reported from any city, due to the frequent movement of people, if the virus is found in sewerage it means the anti-polio campaign in that area did not achieve its target.

The presence of the poliovirus in sewerage also means that the immunity level of children in the area has fallen, and they are at risk of contracting the disease.

Comments (15) Closed

Aks Oct 23, 2016 08:06pm

Polio vaccine comes in two forms: IPV (inactivated poliovirus given by injection) and OPV (weakened poliovirus given orally). I am in favor of IPV because it is very safe and in USA OPV form is no longer recommended.

Vikram Oct 23, 2016 08:11pm

That is an improvement and news worth being here..

Mike London Oct 23, 2016 08:18pm

India with 1.3 billion people were successful in eliminating this disease long time ago.

Nelsonw Oct 23, 2016 08:34pm

A mere mention of Shk. Mohammed Bin Zayed and Bill Gates would go a long way as gratitude.

Qureshi Oct 23, 2016 08:33pm

Only remaining country still afflicted with polio. That's very backward.

ZahidUSA Oct 23, 2016 08:44pm

Very happy to read the good news coming out of Pakistan. Polio does not belong in Pakistan. It does not belong anywhere in the world. We are not far from eradicating it.

Javed Oct 23, 2016 08:57pm

That is NOT an achievement. When Pakistan is one of only three countries in the whole world to have Polio in the first place. This is due to lack of security and CTC.

flipflop Oct 23, 2016 09:46pm

Don't really know why people are resisting these vaccinations ? People need to understand that these vaccinations are completely safe and prolong children lives. Can't believe that in this century people would still be ignorant.

Intizar Oct 23, 2016 10:26pm

There is an error in the story. Nigeria has been declared free of polio. Now only Afghanistan and Pakistan remain.

Neutral Indian Oct 23, 2016 11:56pm

Well done.. Best wishes for a polio free Pakistan!

SUNIL BENIWAL Oct 24, 2016 01:11am

Congratulation to Pakistan from India. Make the Pakistan polio free so that it can stand on its feet and can contribute in making a peaceful Pakistan.

Kamran Oct 24, 2016 02:28am

We have open border with Afghanistan and until unless we don't do something about it till we cant get rid of this disease completely.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB Oct 24, 2016 03:57am

what ever you say but still it is there.foreign donors have a lot of patience.

M. Emad Oct 24, 2016 04:28am

Number of reported Poliovirus cases in the World (July-August 2016): Pakistan (54), Afghanistan (20), Nigeria (2).

Sajjad Chitrali Oct 24, 2016 07:16am

Nice progress Pakistan