LAHORE: A World Health Organization (WHO) team said on Monday that immunity of Pakistan’s population against Polio has increased a great deal since 2016.
While addressing a seminar at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Poliomyelitis – the endgame strategy, WHO Team Leader Dr Raul Bonifacio said, “The number of cases has declined from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015, 20 in 2016 and eight in 2017. In 2018, only one polio case has been reported so far Balochistan.”
“The virus is cornered in three remaining sanctuaries and these are the Khyber-Peshawar corridor, Karachi and the Quetta block but the risks to Pakistan span beyond these areas and a determined focus on delivering high-quality campaigns that ensure finding and vaccinating every missed child are critical to stopping virus circulation,” added Dr Bonifacio.
A considerable majority of parents in Pakistan accept the vaccine while a few of them in the risk areas reject it, according to WHO Surveillance Officer Dr Ujala Nayyar.
“Combining OPV and IPV provides stronger protection against polio. IPV strengthens immunity in the blood while OPV strengthens immunity in the gut,” added the surveillance officer.