KARACHI: Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) is very much concerned over the reported cases of polio in Pakistan in the year, 2019. It is distressing to know that the detected polio virus cases have reached to 41 (Punjab-3, Sindh-3, KPK-25, KPTD-8, Balochistan-2) which is very alarming. While, Prime Minister’s focal person on polio Babar bin Atta, after this rapid increase in reported cases, has reached a conclusion that data manipulation was done over the past few years as performance of the entire programme is revolved around the data or numbers.
PMA believes that statement of the focal person is irresponsible and it is just a political point scoring. Instead of indulging into any blame game the focal person should have chalked out a solid and comprehensive strategy to overcome the issues that are obstructing the goal of polio free Pakistan. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently criticized the polio eradication program in the country and said that it is not on the right track.
PMA believes that a massive awareness campaign through print, electronic and social media should be initiated. Government will have to run a strong campaign to let people know what polio is and what are its consequences. People should be made aware of the importance of polio vaccine, they should particularly be convince that vaccine is very effective for the eradication of polio and it is absolutely not harmful in any way. Government needs to remove all the misconceptions about the polio drops from the public minds. The message should go to public with such clarity that they themselves take their children to vaccine centers for polio drops. Political or religious leaders, NGOs, teachers and family physicians all can play their due role in eradication of polio virus from Pakistan.