The 69th case of Polio reported from Jamshoro district of Sindh informs us that the crippling disease is not going away anytime soon from Pakistan. The 31-month-old infant becoming the victim of Poliovirus means that the Polio eradication campaign has failed to produce results in 2019. In the past few years, Pakistan had indeed made significant progress towards eradication of the disease. The sudden rise in polio cases, however, shows all gains the state had made in the past are on the reverse one by one.

The fears are that more cases will surface until the end of this year. This means that polio elimination in Pakistan will remain a distant dream in the future. According to polioeradication.org, “Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria.” The year 2019 records the highest numbers of polio-victims since 2015. 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. The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) needs to be the most concerned for the Poliovirus has hit the province the hardest; at least 50 cases have been recorded so far.

However, the fight against polio eradication will need a multi-pronged strategy. Before anything else, the government needs to reassess who’s to be blamed for the resurgence of the Poliovirus. The government conveniently blames parents and Pakistani “culture” whenever and wherever polio case surfaces. But what lies at the heart of this persistent failure is the programme leadership’s failure to undertake a serious analysis of its strategy in this regard.