Polio is a highly contagious and lethal disease that is a major priority for global eradication. Pakistan has made significant progress in eradicating polio, with the number of cases dropping from the hundreds to the single digits. 

Researchers at the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health such as Associate Professor Ali Faisal Saleem, have conducted several randomized control trials for the polio vaccine that have contributed to global polio eradication efforts. These studies not only provide scientific evidence to improve routine expanded immunization programs and supplementary immunization but also offer insights into how to manage global polio outbreaks.

The evidence supporting current routine polio vaccination in Pakistan is the Randomized Control Trial on the immunogenicity of different schedules for PV vaccination. The standard routine PV vaccination now includes bivalent Oral PV along with the first dose of IPV.

The immunity against polio decreases over time. As Pakistan is a country where polio is still prevalent, it is crucial to maintain high antibody levels for all three types of poliovirus (I, II, and III). To achieve this, a second dose of IPV should be administered between 9-12 months after the first dose. Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem's clinical trials have shown that a second dose of IPV not only maintains the immunity against poliovirus but also boosts the immunity in individuals with low immunity levels.

Pockets of conflicts persist in Pakistan, rendering some areas hard-to-reach. Other challenges are limited access and an immigrant population, Oral PV vaccine refusals, and a lot of essential immunization zero-dose children. Children are also scared of needle injections. Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem's studies on fractional doses of IPV provide an excellent opportunity in which a needle-free injection for supplementary immunization helps the national polio program reach out to millions of children across Pakistan. Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem is also a master trainer of needle-free devices and has trained the national and provincial polio vaccinators to vaccinate through this device.

​Granting Agency
​Pilot Surveillance of Poliovirus excretion among persons with primary immune deficiency in Pakistan & Assessment of Sensitivity of Jaffery Modell Foundation Signs for screening of suspected PID Children
​World Health Organizati​on
PI: Ali Faisal Saleem
Duration: 15/08/2020 to 31/12/2023
​To conduct a population based cross sectional survey to assess the random shedding of Poliovirus 1 among healthy children eligible for poliovirus vaccination in Pakistan and to explore the sociodemographic characteristics.
​World Health Organization
PI: Tahir Yousafzai
Duration: 01/07/2022 to 31/12/2023
​Developing a screening tool for primary immunodeficiency disease (PID) in Pakistan
PI: Ali Faisal Saleem
Duration: ​01/10/2022 to 31/12/2023
​A Multi-country, Multi-center, Open-labelled, Randomized Controlled Extended Phase III Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Immunogenicity and Tolerability of Sabin Strain Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Administered with or without Routine Infant Vaccines
PI: Ali Faisal Saleem
Duration: 21/08/2023 to 30/05/2024​