Islamabad, March 24, 2020
In a Gallup & Gilani Pakistan National Survey conducted in the year 2002, respondents were asked “How important do you think it is to get polio drops administered to children? Do you think it is very important, important to some extent or not important at all?” In response, 87% said it is very important, 7% said it is somewhat important, and 4% said it is not important at all.
Comparative Picture: This question was asked again in 2020 to enable a comparison to be made across the years. In 2020 only 69% said it is very important, 23% said it is somewhat important, while 5% said it is not important at all.
Implication of this finding: Pakistan has experienced a major resurgence of Polio cases in year 2019 and 2020 after relative success in period preceding it. Between 2019-2020, more than 150 cases have surfaced even in provinces like Punjab where Polio had been nearly eradicated. Pakistan is one of the three countries where Polio still persists, the other two being Afghanistan and Nigeria. Overall, the poll findings in this context provide an important explanation for rise of Polio cases in Pakistan since behavioral science has informed public policy that unless people are motivated and find value in an action, it is hard to cause behavioral change. We know that perceived value of polio vaccine is on a decline in Pakistan and it is showing its disastrous consequences in shape by rising polio cases in Pakistan and by endangering the global polio free status of many other countries.
This press release has been made as part of the Gallup Pakistan History Project which aims to release historical empirical polling data to wider audiences. The objective is to sustain and encourage empirical decision making in Pakistan.