In a tweet the other day, WHO Pakistan appreciated Punjab for its immunization efforts to fight polio.
— WHO Pakistan (@WHOPakistan) June 6, 2018
The WHO was referring to Punjab’s e-Vaccs program observing strengthening routine immunization was critical to end polio in Pakistan and improving the health of children.
The e-Vaccs provides real-time data about vaccination in the province.
While we appreciate Punjab for strengthening its vaccination program, let’s not forget Pakistan is one of the only three countries in the world, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio remains endemic.
Starting with the year 2013 when the federal and provincial governments, which recently completed their tenures, came into power in Pakistan, the next year was the worst in terms of polio cases reported from across the country. A staggering 307 polio cases were reported in 2014. Maximum of these cases, 179 were reported from FATA alone.
In 2015, the situation was much improved with 54 cases reported across the country. Maximum of these cases, 17, were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). KP alongside Sindh again topped the list next year with maximum cases i.e, 8 polio cases each.
Last year one case of polio was each reported from KP and Punjab with total eight cases from across Pakistan.
All these years not a single case of polio was reported from Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).
Area wise comparison shows that since 2013, maximum number of polio cases 262 have been reported from FATA followed by KP 105, Sindh 62, Balochistan 40, Punjab 15 and Gilgit-Baltistan just one.
Nonetheless, the fact should be worrisome that so far this year three new cases of polio have been erupted from Pakistan and all of these are from Balochistan.
Main image: End Polio Pakistan