Since 1994, the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme has been fighting to end the crippling poliovirus from the country. The initiative is driven by up to 339,521 trained and dedicated polio workers, the largest surveillance network in the world, quality data collection and analysis, behavioral change communication, state of the art laboratories, and some of the best epidemiologists and public health experts in Pakistan and the world.
What is Polio?
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The polio virus is transmitted by person-to-person and is spread mainly through the faecal-oral route, or, less frequently, by a common vehicle, such as contaminated water or food. Thereafter, the polio virus multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.
The initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease can cause paralysis, which is often permanent. There is no cure for polio, and it can only be prevented by immunization.
Pakistan, Afghanistan are the only two countries left in the world where the poliovirus continues to threaten the health and well-being of children. Since 1994, the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme has been committed to ending polio virus transmission in Pakistan. Through its efforts, case numbers have declined by up to 99% from the 20,000 cases that were reported in the early 1990s.
What We Do:
Throughout the year, the programme implements high quality vaccination campaigns that aim to reach all children under the age of across Pakistan. These campaigns are implemented by 285,000 frontline health workers who go door-to-door to make sure that each and every child in Pakistan is administered the polio vaccine that protects them from the crippling poliovirus. At the same time, the programme undertakes highly sensitive surveillance, detection and response activities to track and limit virus transmission across the country, alongside communication and social mobilization activities which encourage health seeking behaviors amongst communities nationwide.