6. Polio phases in Pakistan a decade’s journey at one glance: A succinct report

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Rizwana Akhter Memon Farah Naz Memon Rana Saba Sultan Hafeez Ahmed Memon


Poliomyelitis (Polio) is one of the ancient diseases, based on its strong infectivity and permanent deformities/deaths among under-five age children is still considered as a major public health threat globally. On historical timeline, Polio is divided into three phases; Endemic phase, Epidemic phase, and Vaccination phase. To explore all historical phases in brief concerning the current scenario so that decade’s journey can be assessed at once for future planning. Secondary data from authentic internet sources were gathered to find out key points, and a brief report is prepared. Actual origin of the disease is unknown, but its endemic phase remained in overcrowded areas where human’s agglomeration was increased. Endemic phase remained scattered in different areas of the globe from antiquity era until the mid of nineteenth century when relatively fewer paralytic cases were noticed. After that, outbreaks occur on a larger scale by crossing many geographical areas. This epidemic phase remained violent until mid of the twentieth century. The third phase started with the introduction of vaccines in 1955. After advancements in vaccines and the launch of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988, polio prevalence started reducing in richer countries followed by poorer countries around the globe. Currently, there is a 99.9% reduction in polio cases around the world; however, it remains in the endemic phase in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The situation is a continuous threat for our country as it could be converted from endemic to epidemic phase. However, Pakistan government’s efforts on the application of additional strategies of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) such as; active surveillance, real-time risk assessment, assurance of high -quality data have shown a great hope that it will be the world’s fourth and final phase of “Polio Eradication Phase”.

Keywords: Decades; Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI); Pakistan; Phases; Polio


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