Pakistan: Polio Update - March 2016
Pakistan is making significant progress in the fight against polio. Last year, the country achieved 82% reduction in polio cases, reporting 54 cases in 2015 compared to 306 in 2014.
The number of children paralyzed by polio have further declined from 20 in March 2015 to only 5 in March 2016. The cases reported so far from five districts/agencies, compared to 12 districts/agencies in the same time in 2015.
Despite this progress, many children in key high‐risk areas of the country are still being missed by vaccinators and left unprotected against the virus.
There are 12 High Risk Districts that represent the final polio reservoirs in the country. These 12 districts are the focus of the low‐ transmission season (Sep. 2015‐May 2016).
Under the leadership of the National and Provincial Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs), the polio eradication programme in Pakistan has focused on reaching every single child during every campaign in the low‐transmission season.
Almost half a million children who were previously missed have been reached, due to gradual improvements in programme quality and access since late 2014.
Nine high quality campaigns that have been planned for the low transmission season (September 2015 to May 2016) are in steady progress to ensure every missed child is vaccinated during every campaign.
In September 2015 the programme started to apply the Continuous Community Protected Vaccination (CCPV) in 461 Union Councils of core virus reservoirs with immunity gap. The CCPV approach is based on engagement of communi es (local influencers, elders, religious and community leaders) in identifying, selecting and recruiting vaccinators from local areas.
To date, 7,532 CCPV frontline health workers and 1,478 area supervisors, 72% of which are women, have been deployed to locate and vaccinate missed children.