Polio Resurgence in Pakistan: Challenges and policy options (PB-70)

Polio Resurgence in Pakistan: Challenges and policy options (PB-70)

Publication details

  • Thursday | 21 May, 2020
  • Imran Saqib Khalid, Sofia Akram
  • Policy Briefs/Papers
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Abstract The world has become polio-free except Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2019, over 10 million children in Pakistan were vaccinated under Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Till May 10, 2020, there were 47 polio cases across the country. Besides pointing out key challenges in the way of Pakistan’s efforts against poliovirus, this policy brief highlights the problems posed by COVID- 19 to the polio campaign. The study discusses major factors behind polio resurgence, which included high dropout rate, quality of vaccination, religious belief, security concerns, and community resistance. COVID-19 pandemic that has halted the polio campaign for the time being is also a matter of concern. The study suggests a collective response to mitigate the impact of polio in future. It also suggests linking of social protection schemes to polio programmes and pay more attention to the quality of vaccine.