Polio Cases Increase In Pakistan: Polio (poliomyelitis) mainly affects children under 5 years of age. In October, Pakistan broke its own 14 year old record when it crossed 200 polio cases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan is at a “tipping point” as the remaining endemic countries in the world.The previous modern record was 199 cases in 2001.
The majority were from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Fata areas. On some days, the number of cases increases by the hour. Pakistan has detected a record number of polio cases already this year as militants target vaccination teams and accuse doctors of being spies and sterilizing boys. However, efforts to eradicate it are hampered by the Taliban, which has banned immunizations and attacked polio vaccination teams across Pakistan.
They think that the polio vaccine is harmful for children and is Haram. Though all the assumptions about polio vaccine are wrong, still a number of people refuse to vaccinate their children.
The government and the WHO are also involving religious scholars to create public awareness that polio vaccine is not injurious to health.The military operation in South Waziristan provided an opportunity to vaccinate the children who could not be covered for over two years. It was also decided to vaccinate every person at the exit point of Waziristan. So far, 700,000 people have been vaccinated.
The polio teams faced inaccessibility issues even in low-risk areas from where cases have been reported, adding to the challenges that the country is contending with in its fight against polio. There is a need to improve the quality of polio campaigns and ensure that not even a single child under age of five years is missed.