World, Health, Asia - pacific

2 new polio cases reported in Pakistan

Total number of reported polio cases in country rises to 8 since beginning of 2019

Islamuddin Sajid   | 23.04.2019
2 new polio cases reported in Pakistan file photo

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan 

Two new cases of polio virus have been reported in northwest Pakistan, an official said on Tuesday.

With the new cases, reported in Bannu and North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the total number of reported polio cases in the country has risen to eight since the beginning of this year.

Six polio cases were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and tribal districts, while one case was reported each in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

“Only anti-polio vaccination could protect children from crippling virus and people should vaccinate their children in every campaign to attain full immunity against the virus,” Babar Atta, head of polio eradication program of Pakistan, told Anadolu Agency.

Pakistan is among three countries in the world, including Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio virus still exists and the country remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In 2014, the WHO made it mandatory for all people traveling from Pakistan to carry a polio vaccination certificate.

Armed assailants belonging to militant groups have frequently targeted polio vaccinators and their security detail in several parts of Pakistan. The groups see the anti-polio campaigns are part of an elaborate anti-Muslim and Western conspiracy, and often issue death threats to vaccinators, many of whom are women, for administrating the vital vaccines to children.

According to Pakistani officials, around 88 people associated with the drive have been killed across Pakistan since December 2012.

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