Peshawar: Poliomyelitis (shortly known as polio) was one of the most feared diseases in industrialized countries in the early 20th century. It paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children every year. With 132 cases, the first outbreak of polio epidemic was from Vermont USA in 1894. Since then Polio is still a nightmare for many countries across the world, including Pakistan.
Among neighboring countries, India and Iran are polio free while Pakistan and Afghanistan are not. Pakistan had twice no. of cases reported in contrast with Afghanistan in 2016 (08:04).
Pakistan and EPI
The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was launched in 1978 in Pakistan with an aim of protecting children by immunizing them against Childhood Tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Measles, and Tetanus. The Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) was launched in Pakistan in 1994, 15 years after the launch of the EPI, with a mandate of performing routine immunization activities.