Polio in Pakistan

 

Pakistan reported 54 cases of WPV in 2015 – a decline of 82% compared to year 2014.The number of infected districts reduced from 43 in 2014 to 23 in 2015. The districts reporting cases in 2015 were Killa Abdullah, Loralai and Quetta in Balochistan province, FR Peshawar, Khyber, North Waziristan and South Waziristan agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Charsada, Lakki Marwat, Nowshera, Peshawar and Tank in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Chakwal in Punjab, and Dadu, Kambar, Karachi, Khairpur, and Sukkur in Sindh. The majority of WPV cases continue to appear in the known reservoir areas. Although reported cases have risen, access breakthroughs in North and South Waziristan give some cause for optimism. The large-scale displacement of populations afforded opportunities to vaccinate at transit points and in host communities.

There are still substantial challenges to be overcome before the prospect of a polio-free future for the children of Pakistan becomes a reality. Despite one of the most comprehensive polio eradication programmes anywhere in the world, in every campaign scores of children, out of the targeted 36 million nationally, still do not get the vaccine due to operational issues, access, misinformation or insecurity. The virus continues to circulate and infect children in Pakistan, keeping every child under five years of age at risk.

Polio eradication continues to be a national emergency with the renewed commitment of the Government at all levels. The Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) recognizes that quality and coverage of polio campaigns are too low, with significant pockets of continuously missed children. The goal of the NEAP 2015-16 remains to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus in Pakistan. Key elements and strategies of the plan are in this document, in detail, which includes both refinements of existing strategies and the incorporation of innovative approaches. The underlying assumption of the 2015 Pakistan NEAP is that "all children anywhere in the country can be reached."