Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta have posed a great threat to the anti-polio drive in the country. Despite a great decrease in the number of polio cases and more and more children being vaccinated each year, poliovirus has not been eradicated. The new government has shifted its focus to not just ensuring that children are vaccinated but also towards the eradication of the virus in the country. The criteria for the successful anti-polio drive will now depend on the absence of the virus which will be measured by the examination of the sewers of the locality.

Combating the poliovirus in the country has been a tasking job for the government of Pakistan. The introduction of the polio eradication programme by the last government drastically improved the ratio of vaccinated children in the country. This was not only done by awareness drives but also ensuring that the polio workers are well versed in the advantages of the vaccination in order to ensure that no child is deprived of it. At the same time, a great emphasis was given to the security of the polio workers because many people have been misinformed regarding the vaccination and that puts the lives of these workers at risk.

The addition of the recent clause will make the drive more holistic. Along with such efforts, the government should prolong the objective of penalising those parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. In the last year, only two cases of polio were registered in the country. This number can be reduced to zero with the rigorous efforts of the government. The absence of the virus will automatically translate into the lack of need for such measures. Along with that, this will improve the travelling plans of Pakistanis who have to go back and forth to get their polio certificates made for visa applications.

Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar bin Atta has very intelligently added on to the previous efforts which have been noticed in the world over. Pakistan is among the few countries still battling the poliovirus and there is a huge international pressure to get rid of this disease in the community. The biggest challenge almost always is the misinformation which prevents even educated parents to not vaccinate their children and the influence of private practitioners who promote a distrust in government facilities. If these along with environmental efforts are made, it is very likely that Pakistan can be polio-free very soon.