Alarming statistics: Four new polio cases surface in the tribal belt

A total of 42 cases have been reported from FATA this year so far.

Mahwish Qayyum November 13, 2011


Four more cases of polio in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were confirmed on Saturday following a health update issued by the Fata Health Department.

The update said that the confirmed number of people infected with the polio virus in Fata this year has risen to 42 -- an alarming figure given the government’s and international donor agencies’ efforts to eradicate the crippling disease.

Of these four cases, two were detected in Khyber Agency, one in South Waziristan and one in Frontier Region (FR) Kohat.

Health officials believe that inaccessibility and security concerns are the major reasons behind the region’s increasing vulnerability to polio. According to the update, over 40 per cent of children in Khyber Agency and nearly 46 per cent in FR Kohat have not received any vaccinations during the anti-polio campaigns.

The patients include seven-month-old Haleema from Mirdad Khel in Landi Kotal and 26-month-old Inamullah, who belongs to Milaward in Khyber Agency, an area that has been inaccessible to health officials for the last two years.

Kaleemullah, who is 42 months old, was also detected to be suffering from the crippling disease on October 17. His family resides in Sararogha Tehsil of South Waziristan, a far-flung mountainous area where the polio teams have not visited since October 2009 due to security reasons, stated the health update.

Among the 42 cases reported from Fata, 15 have been reported from Khyber Agency, nine cases from North Waziristan Agency, four each from Mohmand and South Waziristan Agency, two each from FR Lakki Marwat and Orakzai and one each from Kurram and Bajaur Agency.

Twelve polio cases have been detected in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa: five cases from Peshawar, two each from Buner and Torghar and one each from Bannu, Swabi and Upper Dir.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2011. 


Shehzad Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

We have to realize that we can achieve our goal of "Polio-Free Pakistan" and hence "Polio-Free World" only if we empathize with the children being infected by this deadly disease and their suffering families. We have to consider each infected child as our own child (not just a Polio case). We all have to keep working together till we Make Pakistan Polio-Free.

Rotary International has recently raised nearly US$ 200 million (and counting) in response to a friendly challenge by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotarians all over the world actively participated in the US$ 200 million challenge. The Gates Foundation has provided US$ 355 million to Rotary International for polio eradication. Rotarians in Pakistan are also involved in actively participating in the National Immunization Days (NIDs) and in creating social mobilization.

Past District Governor Shehzad Ahmed Rotary International District 3272 (Pakistan & Afghanistan)

James Martin | 10 years ago | Reply

This is obviously extremely worrying and well done to Mahwish Qayyum for bringing this to the world's attention. Rotary International throughout the world has been working since the 1980's to eradicate this dreadful disease from the face of the earth. Polio remains in four countries in the world and Rotarians are raising millions of pounds to increase awareness and try and get it out of the last four. We are 'this close' and hope that very soon the disease will be gone for good. #rotaryendpolio

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