Comprehensive strategy needed to eradicate polioJanuary 2, 2015
KARACHI: About 296 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan in 2014 and 87 percent of global polio cases also reported in the country, PPI learned on Saturday.
According to the data revealed by Expended Program on Immunization (EPI) Sindh ,296 polio cases were reported in Pakistan in 2014, 26 in Afghanistan, six in Nigeria, five in Somalia, five in Equatorial Guinea, two in Iraq, five in Cameroon, and one each in Syria and Ethiopia. However, 87 percent of global polio cases were reported in Pakistan last year.
In Pakistan, 174 polio cases were reported from Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA)/Frontier Region, 24 in Balochistan, 62 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 29 in Sindh and just 3 in Punjab.
However, final polio count for 2014 is still awaited as some samples collected during 2014 are still being processed in laboratory and positive samples, if any, will be added in the final polio count for 2014.
The report showed that Karachi is major hub of Wild Poliovirus (WPV) circulation with 23 out of total 29 cases reported across Sindh province.
The major poliovirus hit areas of city are District West and Gadap Town of East. The Gadap town is most sensitive area of Karachi as 10 polio cases were reported in this town in 2014. The SITE, Baldia and Orangi are also highly sensitive towns of the city. However, five polio cases were reported from interior parts of Sindh, out of total 29 cases.
Regarding Karachi Poliovirus situation of 2014, all 23 polio cases were restricted to 11 out of total 188 Union Councils, 16 cases out of 26 (69.56%) are from security compromised areas, pockets of persistently missed children are localized in 13 areas. However, 20 cases were reported from Pashto speaking areas and 3 cases from neighboring Pashtoon areas.
President, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Karachi Prof M Idrees Adhi said poor administration, vaccine infectiveness, non-implementation of plan, lack of awareness and social taboo are the major reason behind the overall failure to eradicate poliovirus in the country.
He said the role of religious leaders and local dignitaries is important and they should be taken on board before launching any campaign in the sensitive areas. He said: “We can eradicate poliovirus through rising awareness and communication in the society.”
He stressed the need of a comprehensive strategy eradicate poliovirus in the country as many countries have already successfully controlled the prevalence of polio through effective planning and strategy.