Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2014
Published in Category: Karachi

Another polio case detected in Karachi, toll mounts to 86

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KARACHI: Just after eight days, another Polio case detected in Karachi, raising the toll to 86 in the country, National Health Organization said on Thursday. Arsalan, two, is a resident of Ittehad Town. The boy has never been vaccinated against polio.

This year’s first case of polio in the country was detected in a one-year-old girl in Karachi on very first day of 2014. After this case, toll of polio effected babies reached to 86 in the country.

Beside Pakistan, the only two other countries where polio cases were reported last year were Nigeria (over 200 polio cases) and Afghanistan (over 60 polio cases).

The major challenge, according to experts, Pakistan is currently facing in its fight against polio is the use of violence against polio workers and attacks on health workers.

A number of polio vaccinators have been killed across the country while many have received death threats. Efforts to tackle polio in the country have also been hampered over the years by local people’s misconceptions and suspicions about vaccination.

Resistance also comes from parents, often poorly educated and impressionable, who believe in wild conspiracy theories about the polio vaccine.

The misconceptions, experts believe, about the anti-polio campaign, especially in tribal communities, have increased after Dr Shakeel Afridi’s fake polio campaign.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3.5 million Pakistani children missed out on polio vaccination when over a dozen immunisation workers were shot dead in various parts of the country.
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