Polio may have crippled Shazia Tufail, but her hope of combating the epidemic in Pakistan needs no support.
Tufail, an Orthopedic Engineer, contracted polio 30 years ago and since then, she has vowed to help all those who fall prey to the disease. She not only helps people prevent the disease but also makes synthetic limbs from foam and plastic.
She believes that one child contracting polio equals to one murder, as the child is not only physically affected, but also psychologically affected by the disease.
Tufail comes under many of those who are fighting day and night against the polio epidemic, but some factors still exist in our society which are hindering progress with their conspiracy theories.
Polio is a viral disease that can affect nerves and can lead to partial or full paralysis, contributing to stunted limb growth.
Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world who still face an outbreak of polio on endemic levels. Last year Pakistan saw 170 cases of polio being reported, with the average for the past three years hovering around 100.
Pakistan, along with countries like Nigeria, Afghanistan and India were supposed to have eradicated the disease as part of the Millennium Development Goals. However, a number of factors have seen the goals being consistently missed. Of late, the floods for two successive years have seen the disease not only flare up but new variations of the virus emerged, adding new challenges in combating it.