More polio cases

235

Crippling polio virus appears to be getting out of control. Despite the commitment shown by the government to curb the crippling virus, there is no letup in their cases as more cases are rapidly emerging in different parts of the country.
As many as four new cases of polio have been reported from Sindh and Khyber- Pakhtun¬khwa, taking the tally already to 12 in the first two months of current year. This increase in polio cases is very disturbing and alarming. Just a couple of years back, the country appeared to be at the brink of eradication of polio as twelve cases were reported in the 2018 and only eight in 2017. However, it needs to be examined as to what went wrong that the cases mounted to 144 last year and the surge continues during the current year as well. The propaganda campaign last year against polio vaccine in Peshawar indeed took its toll as thousands of parents refused administration of vaccine not only in the KP but also in other areas of the country. Attacks on polio workers are another problem faced by the authorities. Since it is the matter of life and future of our young souls, all the stakeholders including political parties and religious leaders should sit together and try to address the loopholes in the existing anti-polio strategy. There should be no politics on this sensitive issue. We rather will ask the government to form a special Joint Committee of Parliament on Polio to formulate a way forward that ensures hundred per cent coverage as well as proper security for the polio workers. A massive awareness campaign through print and electronic media should be launched to let people know what polio is and what its consequences are. People should be made aware of the importance of polio vaccine. They should particularly be convinced that vaccine is very effective and is absolutely not harmful in any way but important to save their children from lifetime disability.