Pakistan remains one of only two countries in the world, alongside neighboring Afghanistan, where polio is endemic. While polio cases have declined globally by 99% since 1998, complex challenges in these countries are preventing total eradication of the disease.

As of Aug. 8, there were 14 wild poliovirus type 1 (WVP1) cases in the country. This represents a significant increase from 2021, where Pakistan had one case of WVP1 and eight cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 cases (cVDPV2) throughout the year.

Prior to 2019, elimination of polio in Pakistan seemed hopeful, with no WPV1 cases reported for several months from January 2017 to mid-2018, before the country saw a surge in cases, putting children in Pakistan at increasing risk of contracting this debilitating disease.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease that spreads from person to person, predominantly through fecal-oral transmission or, less commonly, from droplets of an infected person or by a common vehicle such as contaminated water or food. While most cases of polio are asymptomatic, the virus can cause paralysis or death.

Although there is no cure for polio, the infectious disease is preventable through safe and effective vaccines: the oral polio vaccine (OPV) or the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which can protect a child for life.

Read the full article about Polio in Pakistan by Jacky Habib at Global Citizen.