Pakistan

Polio continues

Sep 20, 2017
With the start of a national immunisation drive against polio on Monday, there is reason to ponder how efforts to eradicate the disease, instead of taking on an urgency, are in slow-burner mode. The campaign to immunise every last child, as is the motto of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, cannot be said to have slowed down. Indeed, in recent years, new and significant challenges have been tackled, from the problem of parents refusing vaccination for their children, to armed attacks, often fatal, against many polio workers and their security detail. Even so, the continued circulation of the virus and its intermittent emergence now seem to be viewed with a degree of ennui, even disillusionment where chances of success are concerned. For a country that remains one of only three — the others being Afghanistan and Nigeria — in the world that are classified as ‘polio-endemic’, this approach is deeply unsettling and highlights our tendency to become resigned to a situation when it persists for long enough; at the very least, our efforts lose momentum as in this battle against polio
 
As an illustration of this, consider the fact that early this month, after a 20-month hiatus, Karachi saw a new case of a seven-month-old baby diagnosed with polio. His parents, refugees from Afghanistan, are said to have consistently refused to have their child vaccinated. It was also the fourth case reported from across the country this year. On Sept 14, presiding over a task force for polio eradication in Karachi, the Sindh chief minister spoke of how this one case had undone all the previous hard work to make the city polio-free. While the acknowledgement is necessary, the fact is that Pakistan keeps arriving at this juncture over and over again, and is caught in a loop. The spread of polio is, perhaps, no longer uncontrolled, but neither are we close to eradicating the crippling virus. New strategies are needed on an emergency footing.
 
Dawn News, September 20, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tackling e-waste: UNSW's Indo-Australian scientist offers to help India

Indo-Australian scientist Veena Sahajwalla, whose pioneering invention of the world’s first micro factory to tackle e-waste has generated global attention, says the technology can be deployed in areas of Delhi like Seelampur and Mayapuri, home to hundreds of MSMEs, to help ‘kabadiwallas’, the traditional waste collect

Read more...

India’s urban agenda one of the defining projects of 21st century: Minister

“India’s urban agenda will constitute one of the defining projects of the 21st century,” Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri told the High Level Political Forum on ...

Read more...
Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook