Punjab’s Rajanpur district is on its way to becoming completely polio-free. Authorities say there have been no polio cases detected in the district since 2012.
They attribute this to thorough vaccination campaigns in the district. Even now, more than 400,000 children will be immunised against the polio virus, according to polio control room in-charge and Rajanpur District Health Officer Dr Ali Hashim.
The WHO has been carrying out environmental sampling of the soil every month to detect the virus. Up until August, each sample has tested negative for the virus.
Despite occupational security risks, polio workers in the district remain dedicated to eliminating the disease. They say their supervisors and senior officers supported them greatly, even providing additional security.
Meanwhile, those affected by the virus in their childhood are now forced to live difficult lives.
Shaheena, a woman who has polio, said that the disease affected her when she was seven and she lost function of her entire lower body. She lives with her parents and is worried about who will take care of her after they pass away.
Muhammad Saddam, who also contracted the disease in his childhood, says that soon after the illness, he lost function of one of his legs. He wants to study for his master’s degree to become a teacher and be able to train future generations. Saddam doesn’t see his disability as an obstacle.
Even though the district has been free of polio, polio teams are still following strict control measures to make sure there is no outbreak in the future.