Total number of infected in the first six months of 2014 reaches 82.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed on Saturday that four new cases of the poliovirus had been discovered in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency, bringing the total number of infected in 2014 to 82.
The Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell and World Health Organization chief Dr. Elias Durry confirmed the new cases from the federally administered tribal areas, adding, “Sixty-four [of 82] polio cases this year have been reported from FATA.” Durry said 58 cases had been reported from North and South Waziristan agencies alone.
Polio vaccination campaigns have remained suspended in the North and South Waziristan agencies since June 2012 due to an ongoing security threat. “None of the infected received a single dosage of oral polio vaccine,” said the WHO chief.
The latest infected are 11-month-old Fahad from Jamrud in Khyber Agency; 34-month-old Maanofia from Miranshah in North Waziristan; 4-month-old Shumaila from Miranshah in North Waziristan; and 18-month-old Yasir from Bara in Khyber Agency.
Earlier this year, the WHO declared Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the largest reservoir of poliovirus in the world. The WHO declared a public health emergency and recommended Islamabad enforce vaccination at the country’s entrance and exit points to prevent the spread of the disease. Under the new guidelines, which came into effect on June 1, travelers visiting or leaving Pakistan have to seek polio vaccinations at least four weeks prior to travel.