Four new type 1 poliovirus cases have emerged in the Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) that have raised the total number of polio cases in Pakistan to 82 this year.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad confirmed on Saturday that two cases have been reported from North Waziristan and two from Khyber Agency and that none of the affected children received polio drops.
Meanwhile, Elias Durry, the chief of the World Health Organisation’s Polio Eradication Pakistan Programme, also confirmed the new polio cases.
According to a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Health Department official, the first polio victim was identified as 11-year-old Fahad, son of Zaman Khan, a resident of Jamrud, Khyber Agency.
The second child affected by the disease is 34-month-old Manofia, daughter of Saidullah, resident of village Tortangai, tehsil Miramshah.
Shumaila, a 4-month-old girl, also from Miramshah, has also been diagnosed with polio, while the fourth child affected is 18-month-old Yasir, son of Israr, a villager from Bara, Khyber Agency.
Officials stated that out of the 82 polio cases in Pakistan this year, 64 were from FATA, 12 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and six from Sindh.
Out of the cases surfacing from FATA, 53 have been reported from North Waziristan Agency, five from South Waziristan Agency, four from Khyber Agency and two from Frontier Region Bannu.
Officials also informed that in K-P, a total of 12 cases have been reported. Four of these emerged from Peshawar and eight from Bannu.
In 2014, only three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan — remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988. Failure to eradicate polio from these countries could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, all over the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2014.
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