The latest count of polio victims is 91. The year has not ended yet. In the next thirty-seven days, more polio cases will surface taking the toll to near hundred polio victims. Only after the International Monitoring Board published its report, ‘The Art of Survival: The poliovirus continues to exploit human frailties’ that the government has decided to take some action.

Nevertheless, after the report of the international body, the government has come to senses. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government’s decision to form a group comprised of leading political parties to ensure polio eradication is a step forward in the right direction.

Before the publication of the report by the international group, editorials in this paper had urged the federal government to collaborate with the provincial governments if it were committed to the eradication of the crippling disease. The editorial pieces in this newspaper suggested that political polarization was one of the leading causes of the government’s failure in eradicating the crippling disease. But then the piece of advice fell on deaf ears.

However, the body formed is still incomplete, and it will not be able to achieve its purposes. The reason is that the body contains none from the religious-political parties who can convince parents who firmly believe that the polio eradication program is an anti-religious activity.

Furthermore, the polio eradication program needs a complete overhaul. Since 1994, Pakistan’s Expanded Program on Immunization has changed very little in terms of design and implementation. But while the program has remained mostly unchanged, the country has undergone rapid and radical changes. The rising polio cases indicate that the fault in Pakistan’s polio program is continued failure to see that polio eradication needs a multi-pronged solution. Only such a policy can tackle the socio and political hurdles that stop the nation from winning against polio.