PESHAWAR: Another infant in Bara, 12-month-old Maryam, will be crippled for life. As Khyber Agency remains cut off for vaccination teams, the area recorded its ninth polio case.
The National Institute of Health Islamabad confirmed the new case on Sunday. Like all other cases that have surfaced from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) so far, the infected child had not received any dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).
Maryam is a resident of Nawia Qamar Surband, Fort Slop area, Bara tehsil. Due to security problems, the agency has been inaccessible to polio teams since September 2009.
In the past seven months, 13 polio cases have been reported from Fata, while five cases have been reported from K-P. Of the 22 cases so far in 2013, 17 have been of children who had not been vaccinated.
The last case reported from the same area was on June 11 where the crippling virus affected one-year- old Ayesha, a resident of Nala Kajori in Bara.
Despite repeated efforts, the official from the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Fata did not respond to phone calls to discuss the matter. Last week, however, the EPI had confirmed the lack of accessibility to the area.
Around 85% of the cases in the country are said to be because of inaccessibility to volatile areas, bans by Taliban warlords in North and South Waziristan and refusals cases from parents.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2013.
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