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Hurdles to the global antipolio campaign in Pakistan: an outline of the current status and future prospects to achieve a polio free world
  1. Tariq Khan1,
  2. Javaria Qazi2
  1. 1Department of Biotechnology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  2. 2Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Javaria Qazi, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan; javariaq{at}


The Global Polio Eradication Initiative to eradicate polio completely by the year 2000 has been successful, except for three endemic and some non-endemic countries. Pakistan, one of the three endemic polio reservoirs, is posing a serious threat to the success of the initiative. Currently, the expanded programme on immunisation has been geared to win the race over polio virus in Pakistan. After the remarkable decrease in polio cases from 198 in 2011 to only 58 in 2012, Pakistan seemed to be at the verge of success. However, hurdles continue to retard the campaign. The war against terrorism, misconceptions about polio vaccine, religious misinterpretations, frustration among vaccinators, lack of awareness, social considerations, natural calamities, inaccessibility, and inefficient vaccines and so on are continually rupturing the foundations of the worldwide initiative in the country. Weak health management is found at the hub of majority of the challenges. Stricter policies, well managed and supervised plans and strategic actions, risk analysis and enhanced communication may help giving the final punch to polio virus in the country. Analysis suggested that there is some literature available on the challenges to polio elimination, yet there is not a single publication up to date that considers all the possible hurdles in a single manuscript. This paper sorts out the breaches that hamper the goal of eliminating polio from Pakistan. We have evaluated all the possible barriers and explained them with a perspective that will help develop area specific strategies against polio virus and thus eradicate polio virus from the world.


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