Islamabad, Sep 9 (IANS) The number of polio cases detected in Pakistan this year has reached 62, the highest since 2015, health authorities said.
The number reached 62 after two more cases were reported on Sunday from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, reports Dawn news.
Of the 62 polio cases, 46 were detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, six victims in Sindh, while Balochistan and Punjab reported five cases each, the authorities said.
Twelve cases were reported in 2018, while only eight children had been tested positive for the virus in 2017.
About the latest case from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, an official of polio virology laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, said on Sunday: “It was a clear case of refusal.”
The victim was a 10-month-old boy. The case was detected in South Waziristan.
“The child’s grandfather was against polio vaccine,” the official said.
According to the official, the second victims was an eight-month-old girl in Karachi’s Orangi area.
The World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Polio Eradication has said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a major barrier to polio eradication efforts in Pakistan. It termed the situation caused by the parallel polio structure in the province ‘crises’, Dawn reported.
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.