Polio cases in Pakistan rise to 94 this year

Islamabad: The total number of polio virus cases detected in Pakistan has increased to 94, with three new ones reported from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, a health official said on Thursday.

An official of Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH) told Dawn news that the new cases were reported from Larkana in Sindh’ and from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan and Lakki Marwat districts.

According to the official, two of the three affected children had been given polio vaccine.

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So far, 68 cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 14 from Sindh, seven from Balochistan and five from Punjab.

Consequently, the government has called for a meeting of the recently formed National Strategic Advisory Group (NSAG) comprising members of the opposition parties who had worked on polio eradication programmes during their tenures.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services, Sajid Shah told Dawn news they hoped that the polio virus would be controlled in Pakistan by 2020.

There are only two countries in the world, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio cases are still reported.

Pakistan remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the WHO due to which since 2014 every person travelling aboard has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.

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