It is not easy to eradicate a disease from existence. It has only been done once by the humans in 1980 with the eradication of Small Pox. So the polio-free Pakistan is a dream that has to be achieved through rigorous efforts of the health professionals as well as the community.
So Can We Create a Polio-Free Pakistan?
Yes, we can achieve this significant milestone. However, we need to understand the effort that would be required to accomplish such a significant achievement.
Steps to a Polio-Free Pakistan
Here are some of the wys we can try to kill it altogether.
Discontinue Use of Oral Vaccine
One way of doing it is by stopping its spread. We need to understand the two types of vaccines administered to overcome this illness.
The two types including the OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine) and IPV (Injected Polio Vaccine). The OPV which is administered orally creates weak strands that reside in our intestine and imitate the behavior of the virus found in the wild.
The current version of OPV takes into account the three types of polio bugs found in the wild including WPV1, WPV2, and WPV3. WPV2 is already successfully eliminated and does not exist. Similarly, WPV3 has not been detected anywhere in the world during the last three years. Thus, the only wild bug is WPV1. The scientists are working on gradually phasing out the OPV so that it does not have any health risks posed to the children vulnerable to this illness.
The IPV will be used in the future which is injected via an injection. Although it has its limitations, however, it does help protect the children against this virus. Thus, the future is IPV for the children and will help them provide overall protection while strengthening their body to improve immunity.
Overcoming Vaccine Derived Polio Virus
However, sometimes the artificial bug injected via OPV may spread from one person to another and undergo genetic changes. Thus, it can become dangerous and result in causing the disease itself. Therefore, scientists are work on creating a polio-free Pakistan by gradually phasing it out.
Although this type of illness is rare, it may occur in countries where there are only a few children vaccinated against this disease. Thus, the other children who were not provided with the vaccine can become prone to catching it.
Keep Lab Viruses Safe and Secure
Despite the non-existence of the wild bugs of this disease, they do exist in labs. The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these vaccines have to create the medicine. However, these companies need to be regulated our government. These companies must take the necessary steps to ensure that these viruses do not go out in the wild and start spreading the disease again.
Ensure Access to Vaccine to All Areas of Pakistan
One of the primary requirements for a polio-free Pakistan is to ensure all children of up to 5 years are vaccinated against this disease. Even if a few children remain unvaccinated, it will not help the cause and not let us eliminate the bug from our country.
Awareness Campaign to Report All Cases
It is important to know that authorities cannot access all the remote areas despite best efforts. Sometimes, they do not know about a place and cannot ensure vaccination administered to 100 percent of the children. Therefore, they have to find a way to reach that place. The communities of remote areas must be educated to report all such cases to stop the spread of this disease.