Lahore (Web Desk): The World Polio Day is being observed on October 24 (Tuesday) across the globe including Pakistan with renewed pledge to work with more dedication in enhancing awareness about the hazards of the crippling disease.
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.
Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad Sohail Rajput, Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Hyderabad and Focal Person of Polio Shakeel Abro, Vice Chancellor LUMHS Professor Dr. Naushad Ahmed Shaikh, District Focal Person Polio Dr. Masood Jaffary, Member District Polio Control Room (DPCR) and Senior Medical Health Office Government of Sindh Dr.
Ashfaque Qureshi and others said polio had been declared a national emergency and a dedicated team of professionals in the Emergency Operation Center in the provincial health directorate is working hard to achieve the targets. The World Polio Day gives us an opportunity to renew our pledge to work with more dedication. Given its implication on our image in the comity of nation, it is not just for one organization and institution to undertake the task, it is now responsibility of everyone in the country, they added.
Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only countries battling polio now with Nigeria making a considerable progress towards polio-free status, they informed saying that polio has been eradicated in the 121 countries and expressed the hope that people of Pakistan will also hear such news soon. They said cases of polio have been reported in some parts of the Pakistan as these areas were not accessible due to security reasons. They said that the WHO role in polio eradication in Sindh in 40,000 people have refused to allow polio drops to be given to children when polio house to house campaign teams reached there in whole country largest number 85 percent of refusal happened in Sindh and Karachi, added.
They said that Pakistan is making sincere efforts for the eradication of polio and strategies currently implemented would enable the country to achieve the goal in the very near future. They said that WHO, partner Governments and agencies pledged continued support to the Pakistan's polio eradication programme to ensure eradication of the disease by end of current year. They said that WHO is coordinating and supporting polio eradication since 1988 , polio eradication is massive health campaign in the history of world and has stopped wars in many countries and polio teams went into war zones and administered polio drops so such popular campaign will surely succeed in Pakistan only will and resources are mobilized, added.
They said that the joint efforts can help in eradicating polio virus from the country and eradication of polio should not leave to heath sector only we have to put hands and mind together for eradicating polio from Pakistan. They said that purpose the joint struggle of the government, community workers, NGOs, civil society activists and religious scholars was earnestly needed. They urged the teachers, students, scholars, and media to play positive role in raising awareness and educate people. They stressed that individual efforts could make a huge difference. They encourages the students to raise community awareness, support the coverage of missed children and impart technical education to masses like methods of hand washing, ORS preparation and use of latrines, added.
The polio cases represented by the remaining one percent are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.