ISLAMABAD  -   As many as 745 polio cases were reported in the year 2018 registering a significant decrease as compared to the last year due to great efforts of the present government according to the Director Extended Programme for Immunization (EPI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Ikram Shah.

Talking to private news channel he said solid measures have been taken to uproot this killing disease from society. This year single digit was reported in overall polio cases with 99 percent reduction in polio cases which is a good omen.”Pakistan is closest ever to its goal of polio eradication,” he added.

He explained Pakistan is one of three remaining polio-endemic countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria,however,  there has been a massive decline in polio cases in the country since the launch of the Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme in 1994.

Despite this remarkable progress in 2018, 344 cases have been reported from Tribal areas,117 from Balochistan; 52 from the Punjab, 100 from the Sindh were reported. He further urged the media to utilize their forum for creating awareness among the people about vaccination to save their children from the crippling disease.

EPI director said the credit for remarkable reduction in polio cases went to the vaccination teams who had been striving to protect the children from deadly disease. He said the federal and provincial governments are utilizing all resources to eliminate the disease from the country. He appreciated the role of media in countering negative propaganda against polio immunization campaigns.

The present government is committed to end the polio and doing all their resources to made it possible and provide a polio free environment to the next generation, he added.

“Any child with low immunity will be where the virus will find refuge. We need to ensure all our children have received all of their routine immunizations and are vaccinated, with two drops, every time the vaccine is offered,” he mentioned.

“Parents who do not ensure vaccination of their children are risking health and lives of their own children as well as others around them. It is thus the responsibility of communities to help identifying and vaccinating such children,” he urged.  “We are closest ever to the goal of polio eradication. But to achieve it, we must all come together as a nation to ensure that every child in vaccinated. This is the only way we can collectively ensure that we rid polio from our land,” he remarked.

Government support at every level and cooperation of communities and parents has been imperative in Pakistan’s recent successes actualizing a case decline from in last year. He also urged the religious scholars to play their role to nullify the misconceptions about the polio vaccine.