We welcome the news that Pakistan has launched a nationwide Polio vaccination drive in an attempt to vaccinate 38.7 million children under the age in just five weeks. Previous efforts to eradicate Polio from the country have been stopped by the Taliban or other terrorist groups, and the government has recognised the severe impact Polio can have in the war-torn parts of the country.
Pakistan joins Kashmir and Somalia, which both had mass vaccination drives for young children to prevent Polio from spreading. We all hope these measures will see them join the list of Polio-free countries as Gabon did at the end of 2017. We must keep pushing for children to be immunised against Polio in areas where medicine is hard to get hold of, as this an ideal environment for the virus to take hold.
We here in the United Kingdom are fortunate to have consigned new Polio cases to the past, but now those of us who had Polio, must live with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). PPS is a debilitating neurological condition that surfaces years after the original Polio virus is long-gone, for which there is no cure. Some 120,000 people we represent in Britain can wait up to six years on average for a diagnosis. If you have PPS, please visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935 and we can introduce you to your local Branch.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship