ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to declare polio a global health emergency this week as it battles complacency in an attempt to eradicate the deadly virus forever. This year has seen a decline in cases but health officials say they have only half the funding they need to wipe out the disease in its last three remaining havens – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Sona Bari, spokesperson for the polio eradication programme at WHO, said the world faced a ‘now or never’ moment. Failing to stamp out the disease could mean recent gains are reversed and as many as 200,000 children crippled by polio in the next decade. “We are really on a tipping point between success and failure,” she said. However, efforts to eradicate the disease completely have stalled in recent years. In 2011, a surge in the disease was reported across Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
More in PakistanHynes, Gilani Meeting: Trade cooperation with Canada discussed