Don’t Put Kids at Risk of Contracting Crippling Polio Virus

Target: Zafarullah Mirza, Pakistan’s Special Assistant for Health

Goal: Continue Pakistan’s effort to eradicate polio through vaccinations.

As the world battles one surging infectious disease, another nearly eradicated illness is making a dangerous comeback in Pakistan. The polio vaccine has helped eliminate this once-prevalent condition in most of the world, but Pakistan is one of two countries that still report new cases. The delay and lack of funding for a nationwide vaccination effort could provoke even more health consequences for Pakistani citizens.

While some cases of polio do not produce any symptoms, the virus can wreak havoc on the afflicted. Brain infections, heart damage, muscle weakness, and paralysis are among the most destructive effects. In the worst infections, death can result. Historically, this disease has impacted all age groups, often taking the most devastating toll on infants and young children.

Pakistan has put a delay not only on the annual polio vaccination initiative but on other vaccine efforts for children. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is cited as the main reason for this pause, but preventing one major outbreak cannot come at the expense of welcoming another insidious epidemic. The Pakistan government’s lack of financial investment and the withdrawal of American funding from the World Health Organization may be compounding the dangerous deemphasis on vaccination.

Sign the petition below to demand this country’s leaders safeguard citizens against a resurgence of the crippling polio virus.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Mirza,

Polio cases within Pakistan are on a dangerous upward trajectory, threatening to surpass the hundred-plus cases reported a few years ago. Even more concerning, infections appear to be spreading across the country. The polio vaccine is the best and only line of defense against this devastating illness.

Please treat this vaccination initiative—and all vaccines aimed at protecting school children—with the utmost urgency. Do not delay vaccinations for months, because in those months so many children and adults could fall victim to this infectious disease.  Fully invest in the polio vaccination campaign, and help the world eradicate this vicious virus once and for all.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mohsin Raza




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