Update on Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative


  • Maryam Riaz Tarar




Pakistan, Poliomyelitis, human poliovirus 1, human poliovirus 2, human poliovirus 3, oral poliovirus vaccine


The global polio eradication initiative (GPEI) was established in 1988 as a result of the declaration of commitment by the World Health Assembly. In Pakistan, National Emergency Action Plan [NEAP] coined the strategies under government directives to play a pivotal role in line with international requirements to make poliomyelitis extinct. At the program’s initiation, there were around 350,000 cases of polio reported annually. The incidence has fallen by 99% due to the immunization of more than 2.5 billion children worldwide. Poliovirus has three serotypes; two have already been eradicated (the last case of poliovirus type 2 was reported in 1999 and of poliovirus type 3 in 2012). Poliovirus transmission has ceased with the exception of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In April 2022, two cases of acute flaccid paralysis due to poliovirus type 1 have been reported in KPK province. In this communication, insight is provided regarding the issues that have contributed to this wild poliovirus resurgence after a 15-month gap and the way forward.