A girl receives polio vaccine drops during an anti-polio campaign in a low-income neighborhood as the spread of COVID-19 continues in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 20, 2020. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan–Pakistan’s polio count for the year has risen to 13 with one case reported on Friday as the South Asian nation looks to contain a disease mostly eradicated elsewhere, officials said.
The latest case was found in the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and involved an 18-month-old boy reported to be undernourished, the health ministry said in a statement.
The previous 12 were reported from North Waziristan district which in the past was a lawless area mainly under the control of Pakistani Taliban before military operations were launched against the group in 2014.
“This polio outbreak was the first to be reported outside North Waziristan. “The resistance of religious leaders in North Waziristan and parents unwilling to vaccinate children made it difficult for vaccinators to reach out to them,” officials from the provincial health department told Reuters.
Last Month, two security officers and a vaccine official were killed during a polio vaccination drive in KP.
“This case puts the Wild Polio case count for endemic countries at 14, with 13 cases from Pakistan between April and June 2022 and one case from Afghanistan in January,” the ministry said.
By Saud Mehsud and Jibran Ahmad