Global polio emergency might be declared in Pakistan in 3 months

Published: March 27, 2012

There are around 400,000 children at risk of getting infected with polio virus in three districts of Balochistan.

BALOCHISTAN: Global polio emergency would be declared in Pakistan if the situation is not improved within three months time particularly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), said World Health Organisation (WHO) team leader in Pakistan Wahab Alanesi.

Speaking during a meeting organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the government of Balochistan regarding polio cases in the province, Alanesi said global polio emergency situation would bar Pakistani nationals from travelling anywhere in the world.

Present at the meeting, different speakers expressed their dissatisfaction towards polio campaign teams, media, politicians and other officials involved in anti-polio drive.

As many as 14 cases of polio were reported in Pakistan, five from Fata, four from K-P, two each from Sindh and Balochistan, while one case in Punjab. There are around 400,000 children at risk of getting infected with polio virus in three districts of Balochistan.

“These three districts [Quetta, Pishin and Qila Abdullah] have also jeopardised the neighbouring districts as virus was detected in nearby areas where no cases were reported earlier,” he added.

“Pakistan, along with Nigeria and Afghanistan, had failed to eradicate police virus till now. Though, only two cases have been so far reported but Balochistan is at high risk as the region had 73 reported cases in 2011,” he said, adding that most of the cases were reported due to inaccessibility or teams had failed to reach the areas.

He also mentioned that lack of awareness, propaganda against anti-polio drive or refusal to get vaccinated were not the main hurdles faced during the anti-polio campaign.

“Media is not playing its due role in anti-polio drive,” he stated.

The WHO team leader further revealed that there was a dramatic rise in reported polio cases in 2011 as 73 new cases were reported in a single year, which was almost equal to all the cases reported from 2005 to 2010.

Yusuf Bezinjo of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) said that most of the polio cases were reported in Pashtun dominated areas while a few in pre-dominantly Baloch areas. “The religious scholars and local leaders in Pashtun areas must come forward and spread awareness about this incurable disease,” he said.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Mar 27, 2012 - 4:39AM

    Send in the CIA doctors.

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  • Moderate
    Mar 27, 2012 - 9:32AM

    Is there any research on why the dramatic increase in 2011?. What was the cause of this? Would appreciate it if anyone can shed some light on this matter.

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  • Chill
    Mar 27, 2012 - 10:26AM

    Another failure of PPP… corruption is the main cause..

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  • Raj - USA
    Mar 27, 2012 - 10:49AM

    NSG should admit Pakistan as a member and transfer nuclear technology immediately to tackle the polio epidemic in Pakistan. Also the blood of Pakistan Muslims have been contaminated with the virus by the Hindus who have forcefully converted themselves to Muslims.

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  • jack
    Mar 27, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Lack of comments on this news shows how serious pakistanis are on this issue…..Recommend

  • Sayyed Mehdi
    Mar 27, 2012 - 9:23PM

    @Moderate
    By what I hear, it’s because of our inability to provide power for refrigerators that hold the polio drops coupled with rumors that the polio drops are a CIA/Jew conspiracy to render Muslim men either impotent or non-muslim.

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  • Mwaqar
    Mar 28, 2012 - 5:09AM

    @Chill:
    well Polio is not something started during PPP Govt,the problem is ignorant mullahs and religious fanatics who are sending wrong message to over 50 million people in Pakistan who can’t read and write,what Pakistan needs to do is to separate religion from the Govt.Its a real shame that in 2012 we are facing this problem.

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  • Mwaqar
    Mar 28, 2012 - 6:52AM

    @jack: well the problem is this site is not publishing true criticizers.

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