Even though Pakistan has made progress in reducing the number of cases of polio, wild poliovirus persists in hotspots and in core reservoirs of Karachi and across the northern and southern corridors of the country.
This was stated at the conclusion of a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) in the capital on Saturday.
During its biannual moot, the group appreciated the progress made in Pakistan over the past nine months to eradicate polio and recognized the government’s commitment towards curbing transmission of the disease which had seen the number of polio cases from a high of 306 reported in 2014 to just five so far in 2017.
For Pakistan to reach the goal of zero cases, the TAG urged for continued focus on improving the overall performance and decreasing the number of children being missed in the core reservoir areas and to identify and address the residual risks and act swiftly in response.
The TAG meets twice a year in Pakistan and Afghanistan to review progress and provide expert advice on the final road to reaching zero. The two-day meeting drew polio experts from lead implementation-partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), senior representatives from across the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), key donors and polio teams from across Pakistan.
It acknowledged the government’s commitment, led by the prime minister and provincial leadership with support from law enforcement agencies and security forces ensuring the safety of vaccination teams.
Correspondent. TAG moot: Despite progress, hotspots remain. The Express Tribune, December 3, 2017.