It is true that in the past few years, Pakistan has made s significant progress towards polio eradication. The resilience of the polio team has brought a 97% reduction in polio cases. Despite such a remarkable fight, Pakistan is one of the two unfortunate countries where Polio is yet to be eradicated even in 2019. The other is Afghanistan. This means that neither of the two nations can eradicate polio without assisting the other. Since the start of 2019, three cases of polio have been reported in different parts of the country. The first case was reported in Lakki Marwat. Second and third cases were reported in Bajaur and Bannu respectively.

According to the latest reports Faisalabad has returned to the list of districts affected by poliovirus. Reports also suggest that the virus is even present in the provincial capital of Punjab, Lahore, as well. This new finding does not augur well for the country’s children.

The disease is a highly infectious one, which mainly affects young children. So far, according to the Ministry of National Health Services, poliovirus is detected from the sewage of eight cities across the country during the environmental surveillance carried out by the polio eradication program in the last month of 2018. Faisalabad is the new addition to the list.

The presence of virus in cities and cases of polio victims reported so far show that the state has become lethargic in uprooting the disease. According to revelation in papers, it is known that an average of 50 % drop has been reported in the immunisation coverage in Faisalabad. The problem with polio is that as long as the virus continues to circulate in Pakistan, no child in Pakistan is entirely safe from becoming a victim of the virus.

The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has decided to carry out an anti-polio emergency drive after three cases surfaced in the province on February 18th. The rest of the provinces also need to start such campaigns because the number of districts with poliovirus being active is increasing.

Furthermore, the suggestion of the prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication in Pakistan, Babar bin Atta’s proposal to raise the polio vaccination age of children in the high-risk districts from 5 to 10 years should be valued. Arguably, it is the shared responsibility of all Pakistanis to ensure that the vulnerable children under the age of 5 are vaccinated against this disease in every door-to-door campaign.