Pakistan reports 7th polio case of this year amid outbreak
Pakistani well being authorities have confirmed the seventh case of polio up to now this year, saying it was registered within the nation’s former Taliban stronghold within the northwest, a area bordering Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani well being authorities on Friday confirmed the seventh case of polio up to now this year, saying it was registered within the nation’s former Taliban stronghold within the northwest, a area bordering Afghanistan.
The outbreak, after the primary polio case of 2022 was registered in the identical area in April, is a blow to the Islamic nation’s efforts to eradicate the illness, which might trigger extreme paralysis in youngsters.
All seven circumstances have been reported in North Waziristan, a district within the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province the place the federal government has launched an investigating into the outbreak. Parents within the area usually refuse to get their youngsters inoculated.
Pakistan’s Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel issued a press release Friday, saying authorities had been taking steps to guard the beneficial properties made by the federal government’s polio eradication program in recent times. He urged dad and mom to get their youngsters vaccinated.
Pakistan’s anti-polio campaigns are recurrently marked by violence. Islamic militants usually goal polio groups and police assigned to guard them, falsely claiming the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to sterilize youngsters.
North Waziristan, a former tribal area, was a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban till lately, when the army claimed to have cleared the area of militants following a number of widescale operations there. However, assaults nonetheless persist.
Pakistan has for the previous 25 years carried out common inoculation campaigns during which well being staff go door-to-door to provide polio drops to youngsters. Most of the employees are ladies, as they will get higher entry to moms and kids. The anti-polio groups are sometimes escorted by safety forces.
So far this year, the federal government carried out three nationwide anti-polio drives — in January, March and in May. During the March marketing campaign, gunmen in northwestern Pakistan shot and killed a feminine polio employee as she was returning dwelling after a day of vaccinations. And in January, gunmen shot and killed a police officer offering safety for polio vaccination staff, additionally within the nation’s northwest.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the one nations on this planet the place polio stays endemic. In 2021, Pakistan reported just one case, elevating hopes it was near eradicating polio.