Polio is about to end

رؤف ظفر
Polio is caused by the polio virus. The virus attacks the spinal cord, leaving a person permanently disabled. About 1400 children in Pakistan have been disabled by the polio virus in the last 14 years. The history of medicine shows that polio is a disease thousands of years old, which was found in ancient Egypt.
Excavations in Egypt have uncovered carvings on the walls, including healthy people with legs, crippled limbs and children standing on crutches. According to Michael Underwood, a British doctor, for the first time in 1789, a specific polio virus enters the body through the mouth and weakens the nervous system. I get this disease.

Europe and the United States were hit by polio in 1900. Polio killed 2,500 people in New York in 1907, after which an investigation was launched. Announced the discovery of the virus that caused the disease, but in 1916 polio spread so fast in New York that people fled their homes in fear and began to settle in the nearby mountains.
With a high fever, people’s limbs were paralyzed, while many people died. From 1917 to 1950, various methods were tried in the treatment of polio, including hydroelectric and cage. The Cage also included paralyzed limbs, especially leg exercises and massages, but the revolution in polio treatment came when William McDowell, an American physician and researcher, came to power in 1950. Hammon developed a serum from antibodies obtained from the blood of polio patients, which proved to be 80% effective in preventing the spread of polio, but this treatment was expensive.
The polio vaccine was finally tested for the first time in 1952, and the success of the vaccine was officially announced on the radio on April 12, 1955. In 1955, the United States approved the polio vaccine, followed shortly thereafter. In the United States, the number of polio cases dropped from 58,000 to just 5,600.
In 1961, Dr. Albert Sabin introduced the Oral Polio Vaccine, an oral vaccine that is given in the form of drops. Thanks to these two types of vaccines, only 161 cases of polio were reported in the United States in 1961. While other countries gradually succeeded in defeating a contagious disease through polio vaccine. In 1979, the last case of polio was reported in the United States.
With the availability of effective vaccines against polio, the anti-polio campaign has gained momentum around the world. At present, polio has been eradicated from all over the world except Pakistan, Afghanistan and one and a half African countries.
Vaccines against polio in Pakistan were introduced in 1974, but the war was officially declared in 1994. The war has been on the rise for over a decade, with more than 100 nationwide polio vaccinations. The campaigns worked, but the results were not encouraging.
In March 2001, 27 million children were vaccinated and vaccinated. In 2004, eight polio campaigns were launched for the vaccination of 30 million children. As a result of these campaigns, there was a 70% reduction in polio cases in 2015 compared to 2014 and it was thought that in 2016 Pakistan would be called a “polio free country”, but when Gadap, Quetta, Pishin, Qila Abdullah, Peshawar Water samples from areas around Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera and Lakki Marwat were found to contain the polio virus, but no target was achieved.
Unfortunately, despite the passage of another five years, there is still no clean drinking water in these areas and no improvement in the sanitation situation. This year, 8 cases of polio have been reported, which is less than the last two years, but it is also a matter of concern why Pakistan, despite being a nuclear power, stands in the ranks of countries like Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Is.

Pakistan has been fighting for the eradication of polio for the last two decades, yet has not been able to enter the “polio free zone”, which is due to a number of factors, such as government negligence, wrong priorities, foreign funds and donations. Greed, our outdated social structure and incoherent health system, etc. According to a former administrator, the campaign to eradicate polio in Pakistan from the very beginning was based on unrealistic and flawed grounds, because only on polio vaccination and vaccination. Emphasis was placed, while other causes of polio were not addressed at all.
The polio virus is spread through human waste and contaminated water. Sadly, in most rural areas, open spaces, especially fields, rivers and canals, are used as toilets. These are places where children play and jump. Thus, the virus enters the body through contaminated soil or water. (According to a 2015 UNICEF report, 40 million people in Pakistan have access to toilets.

According to Dr. Muzammil, a gastroenterologist at Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, polio is derived from the Greek word “poliomyelitis”, which means inflammation of the spinal cord. The winning countries have defeated the disease through polio vaccine and sanitation. The polio vaccine has also shown positive results in Pakistan, but the sewage pipelines, contaminated water, sewage and garbage dumps and open defecation. Other factors, such as hygiene, are hindering polio eradication.
In our country, newborns are vaccinated with a single vaccine against polio, which costs more than vaccines, but it is more effective. The parents themselves are requested to take interest in vaccinating their children themselves instead of waiting for the polio teams.
In our country, 60-70% of children do not get adequate nutrition, so they easily fall prey to various diseases. This is also a serious medical problem, which needs to be addressed with immediate attention.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two countries in the world to be infected with the polio virus. About cases were reported.
This year has seen the lowest number of reported cases in history. We have a golden opportunity to eradicate the deadly virus like polio, but we have to work harder to do so. The announcement of door-to-door campaign of polio vaccination teams in Afghanistan is very welcome, which will benefit both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Every child should be vaccinated against polio. Vaccination will make it possible to eradicate polio. We must do our best for the health of our new generation.

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