2019 can be termed as the year of state’s failure against poliovirus. One hundred one children have fallen prey to poliovirus in 2019 – the highest figures since 2014. The surge in polio cases shows that the current policy against the eradication of virus has failed. The program is not effective in protecting children of the country from the crippling disease. The rate with which polio is returning in the country is alarming. Given the fact that none of the four provinces is protected from the virus necessitates that the government impose polio-emergency. It is high time that the federal, as well as all provincial governments, join their heads together to stop the disease’s further spread and a resurgence of the extinct poliovirus.

The program’s activities, unfortunately, are proving less than satisfactory even in curtailing the spread of the disease. With the return of type 2 virus, the government needs to think about revamping the whole polio eradication program seriously. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already informed the authorities that it foresees Pakistan as a polio-endemic state in 2020 as well.

The government must rethink the process of strategic implementation of vaccination activities after the WHO has expressed its fears regarding 2020. The fight against polio needs a multi-pronged strategy. Before anything else, the state needs to ensure that parents allow their children to be vaccinated.

Moreover, officials need to do what is necessary to kill the virus. Awareness, penalties against those who refuse to vaccinate their kids and monitoring of polio teams to bar them from tampering with data can help the state in eradicating the disease once and for all. Arguably, it is the shared responsibility of all Pakistanis, as Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan says, to play their role in inflicting a defeat upon this crippling disease. Controlling the spread of the virus and bringing down the number of polio cases will be one of the most pressing challenges for the state in 2020.