October 23 marks the date when the world celebrates World Polio Day. Unfortunately, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries which have not been able to get rid of the virus completely.

This year, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has pledged to “Make Polio History”.

Sadly, the news of sewer samples being found in different cities of the world keep surfacing more often than usual. Statistics reveal that a total of four cases have been reported in the year 2023 while 11 new samples have been detected in seven new cities of Pakistan.

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The most recent is the discovery of a two-year-old infected with the virus in the union council of Gujro, North-East Karachi. It’s the first case reported in the city since June this year. Before that, a case was confirmed in Landhi.

Head of the Polio Eradication Programme in Punjab, Khizer Afzaal, on Monday pronounced Punjab-the country’s biggest province-to be polio-free for the last three years. He simultaneously cautioned about the looming threat that is evident after the identification of genomic samples of virus in different districts of Rawalpindi and Lahore.

It is important to understand that along with immunisation, sanitation is equally a part of thwarting the paralysis of children from polio. Experts have stressed the absolute need of a proper sewage system which serves as the breeding ground of this virus and impair the kids for life.

Aggressive measures, awareness campaigns and prioritisation can clear out the black spot from Pakistan’s name.