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.

Opinion

Editorial

Noon leaks
Updated 27 Sep, 2022

Noon leaks

PMO audio leaks are a national security emergency that ought to be investigated at the highest level.
Cipher probe offer
27 Sep, 2022

Cipher probe offer

CONSIDERING the toxic political polarisation in the country, former prime minister Imran Khan’s suggestion that ...
Delaying Doha plans
27 Sep, 2022

Delaying Doha plans

WHEN Doha announced its intention to spend $3bn in different commercial and investment sectors of Pakistan around a...
Debt deferment
Updated 26 Sep, 2022

Debt deferment

Pakistan’s dollar funding needs for next 5 years have never been so large and world’s appetite to hold its hands never so poor.
Dengue concerns
26 Sep, 2022

Dengue concerns

AS weather conditions change in Pakistan, the threat of dengue looms large over the land. According to a warning...
Relic of colonialism
26 Sep, 2022

Relic of colonialism

THE law on sedition, one of several holdovers of colonial times, is among the most handy instruments for controlling...