Two more cases of polio were confirmed from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on Thursday, pushing the country’s total to 19 for the year.
The National Institute of Health, Islamabad confirmed the diagnosis for 18-month-old Sudis, son of Seelan and resident of Zali Khel Machus of Miranshah tehsil in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). The second child infected by the crippling disease is 18-month-old Fatima, the daughter of Saifullah and a resident of Land Datakhel, Saeedabad village, also in Miranshah tehsil of NWA. The genetic analysis of both the viruses are still under process. According to a Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring Cell surveillance report, neither of the two children received a single dose of the oral polio vaccine. The report further states the number of districts/tribal agencies with infected children stands at four; Peshawar, Bannu, Khyber Agency, and NWA where the virus remains endemic amidst a vaccination ‘ban’ imposed by the Taliban.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2014.