Pakistan reports seventh polio case of this year

Pakistan health authorities on Friday confirmed the seventh case of polio so far this year. According to media reports, it was registered in the country’s northwest region. All seven cases have been reported in North Waziristan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistani Government has also launched an investigation into the outbreak. However, local media reports that parents in the region often refuse to get their children inoculated.

Pakistan’s Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel said that authorities were taking steps to protect the gains made by the government’s Polio Eradication Programme in recent years. He also urged parents to get their children vaccinated.

The outbreak, after the first polio case of 2022 was registered in the same region in April, is a blow to government’s efforts to eradicate the disease.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic. In 2021, Pakistan reported only one case, raising hopes it was close to eradicating polio. However, Pakistan’s anti-polio campaigns are regularly marked by violence.

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