Yesterday, The World health Organization imposed severe travel restrictions on #pakistan due to the increasing amount of polio cases in the country. Warning about the epidemic, WHO also remarked polio as a matter of international public health emergency that threatens global health.
Sadly, Pakistan finds its name among the three nations where Polio is still prevalent. If this trend continues we are soon expected to be left as the only country with the virus, even when our much larger neighbor has completely eradicated it. Here are the stats that show our position.
Pakistan is currently one of the states which exporting wild poliovirus and Peshawar has the status of the biggest reservoir of Polio in the entire world. The World Health Organization and UN have serious concerns over Pakistan’s polio figures. They recommend that Pakistan should immediately:
- Declare polio virus transmission “a national public health emergency”
- Make sure that all the residents receive a vaccine of OPV within 4 weeks and 12 months prior to the international travel.
- Make sure travelers present the International Certificate of Vaccination to confirm their polio vaccination
Considering the gravity of the issue, the government along with the people should take immediate measures like:
- Ensure a foolproof security to the polio workers, (in the supervision of army) as we have seen the same news of some people severely beaten. A female polio worker was also killed.
- Campaign severely and effectively against this, take help from the religious bodies, propagate about this, use every loud speaker, every sermon of this country to spread awareness about this issue.
- Maintain this writ and take strict measures against those who are hindering such campaigns, a severe punishment and alteration in the legislation is the need of time.
- Specifically in KPK (as most of the cases belong to this region), the government should maintain a certificate level requirement for every child of the region. Nobody is allowed to travel outside or within the province without the polio vaccination.
- Finally, a proper database of all children under five years of age. This would make future polio campaigns much more easier. This is very important to ensure that no child is left in the vaccination process.
He is a gold medalist from University of Karachi and a regular contributor for Awaz-e-Pakistan.