World Polio Day – October 24

October 23, 2018


WRITTEN BY:  Maria Imran Ali

(University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab)



  • Provide awareness about this disease, highlighting mainly the causes and prevention.
  • Discussing what is vaccination, how it operates and its significance.


There lies the origin of everything that is present in our surroundings. Every disease has a cure but the question is WHAT IS THE CURE? For ages, scientists, pharmacists and other medical practitioners are searching out the ways to upgrade public health by providing the best possible remedies.

Poliomyelitis is first known to have occurred round about 6000 years ago. The deformed and withered limbs of Egyptian mummies evidenced it. Polio was epidemic in the United States in 1940s and 1950s. Since May 1988, the estimated Global incidences of polio were tremendously decreased and three #WHO regions (the America, the Western Pacific and Europe) were certified as polio-free.

It is estimated that substantial progress towards the eradication of polio has been made but the problem still remains in certain areas due to lack of extended immunization coverage including three countries;

  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Nigeria

Global Eradication Campaign of Polio:-

There are some organizations which are working devotedly to eliminate polio from the world, including;



Countries Years-to-date 2018 Years-to-date 2017 Total in 2017   Onset of Paralysis of most cases

0 16 0 0 0 0 NA 11-Sep-2018


16 0 7 0 14 0 1-sep-2018 NA

4 0 5 0 8 0 1-Aug-18 NA

0 13 0 0 0 0 NA 7-Sep-2018
Syrian Arab Republic

0 0 0 52 0 74 NA 21-Sep-2018

The data above shows progress in eradication of Polio.

(*WPV Wild Polio Virus)

(**cVDPV Vaccine Derived Polio Virus)


What is Polio?

Polio is a viral disease that can affect nerves and lead to partial or full paralysis.


There are certain very common causes:

  • Direct person to person contact
  • Contact with infected mucus or phlegm from nose or mouth
  • Contact with feces


The virus enters through the mouth and nose, multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract and then spreads through the blood and lymph* system. The time ranges from about 5 to 35 days in developing disease. Most of the time, the symptoms do not develop in the early stage of disease.

*LYMPH: It is a clear to white fluid consisting mainly of White Blood Cells for defense mechanism of the body against microbes.


Increasing Risk Factors:-

  • Lack of immunization.
  • Travel to an area that has had a polio outbreak.



The only safety measure one can take is to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the administration of a vaccine to stimulate an individual’s immune system in order to develop adaptive immunity from pathogens. Or simply it is the way to prevent a disease. If in case a child (not vaccinated) develops polio in future then there is no permanent cure of it. He/She has to suffer the consequences, unfortunately.

The disability of deformed lower limb is depicted in the picture below:

Role of Pharmacists:-

Pharmacists play a crucial role in health care team. They know every single detail about drugs. Recently, it is noted that they have, apart from counseling and advising, put their core activity in delivering immunization services. A number of countries have given a hand-on role to the pharmacists in administering vaccines; this is a routine practice in USA and Australia. The emerging countries include Portugal, Ireland and UK that come up with this initiative.

 In fact, because of the increased awareness within the communities, other providers are likely to see an increase in the number of vaccines they provide. Thus, when pharmacists provide vaccines, everybody benefits– the pharmacists, other health care providers and most of all, the patient and the community.”

Cited By: John Chave

(Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of European Union/ PGEU)

                                                                                                                                                     Stay Healthy!