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Pakistan’s Fight Against Polio Is Far From Over

Experts are calling for an assertive and comprehensive approach to rid the country of polio. They urge the health department to scrutinize the recent polio case in Karachi.

Pakistan’s Fight Against Polio Is Far From Over

In commemoration of this year’s World Polio Day, supporters from more than 30 countries worldwide, spanning all regions, have united under the banner of the Make Polio History campaign. Their collective message is a resounding call to global partners, donors, and governments of countries affected by polio to recognize the urgency of eradicating this disease, emphasizing that it is both possible and imperative.

As World Polio Day is observed globally today, Pakistan’s battle against this life-threatening and debilitating ailment continues, necessitating a more vigorous and all-encompassing approach, as advocated by experts. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) possesses the knowledge and tools required to permanently eliminate polio, but this endeavor cannot be undertaken in isolation.

World Polio Day 2023: A global and urgent call to “Make Polio History”

Throughout this campaign, champions of the polio eradication cause worldwide have highlighted significant human achievements, ranging from the development of the initial vaccine to the harnessing of electricity, underscoring why the eradication of polio can and should be added to this illustrious list.

Prominent figures such as Bill Nye, Adina Porter, Prue Leith, and Itzhak Perlman have expressed their support for a healthier future for children everywhere. Health workers in Afghanistan and Cameroon have also joined this cause, alongside Mario Moreira, the President of Fiocruz, Dr. Naveen Thacker of the International Pediatric Association, GPEI Gender Champion Minister Andrew Mitchell, as well as other medical professionals and researchers from India, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.

Pakistan’s Fight Against Polio Is Far From Over

Eradicating polio is undoubtedly a formidable task, but historical achievements are seldom easily attained. The history of the polio eradication effort, spanning from global partners to national governments and local frontline health workers, is replete with instances of innovation and adaptation in the face of adversity.

This spirit is well understood by GPEI partners, including the leadership of the World Health Organization in the Eastern Mediterranean and African Regional Offices, as well as UNICEF teams in Sudan and Ethiopia, all of whom actively participated in the campaign.

Unrelenting threat of poliovirus

Rotary International has been steadfast in its commitment from the outset, as affirmed by CEO John Hewko, and will continue to be until the mission is accomplished. The members of the GPEI’s Polio Oversight Board have acknowledged the global support manifested during the campaign and have pledged their unwavering dedication to achieving a world free of polio.

Today, proven strategies and innovative tools exist to deliver vaccines in the most high-risk areas for polio, often located in some of the world’s most challenging and hard-to-reach locations. Encouraging trends observed in countries previously affected by polio but now polio-free indicate that the virus is currently at its weakest point. With ongoing attention and support from donors, partners, and affected country governments, the eradication of polio is within grasp.

This monumental task requires the collective efforts of all, but together, we can once again make history and bring about the end of polio for good. You can visit the Make Polio History website to listen to the perspectives of polio champions from around the world and add your voice to this crucial effort.

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