First polio case in Pakistan's Waziristan since Taliban ban

A child has contracted polio for the first time in Pakistan's militant-infested tribal belt since the Taliban banned vaccinations a year ago, a UN official said Monday.

"The new case has been detected in North Waziristan where we had been denied access in June last year," the 's senior coordinator for in Pakistan, Elias Durry, told AFP.

Tribesmen in North Waziristan, Pakistan's most notorious stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants, endorsed the Taliban ban and stopped authorities from vaccinating children under a nationwide campaign.

"This has been the first case since we were stopped from vaccinating children in the region last year," Durry said.

The Taliban alleged that the campaign was a cover for espionage.

Efforts to tackle the highly infectious disease have been hampered over the years by local suspicion about vaccines being a plot to sterilise Muslims, particularly in Pakistan's conservative and poorly educated northwest.

"We are worried because this new case comes as an example of a bigger impending outbreak of disease in the region," the WHO official said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where the highly infectious, crippling disease remains endemic and infections shot up from a low of 28 in 2005 to almost 200 last year.

Durry said the United Nations and the Pakistani government are working together to reach out to the children in North Waziristan.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fall in polio vaccination refusal cases in Pakistan

Oct 22, 2012

Pakistan has witnessed a sharp drop in the number of families refusing to get their children vaccinated against polio, officials said Monday, while lamenting that nearly half a million children were left unvaccinated.

UN polio suspension hits 22,000 Pakistan children

Aug 02, 2012

Around 22,000 Pakistani children are at risk in Karachi after the World Health Organization suspended polio vaccinations over a spate of bloody shootings, a UN official warned Thursday.

One million Pakistani children miss polio vaccination

Oct 17, 2012

Almost one million Pakistani children were left out of a polio vaccination drive which ended Wednesday, officials said, as unrest and flooding limited access and some parents viewed the campaign as a Western "conspiracy".

Recommended for you

Lebanon reports first suspected case of Ebola

1 hour ago

A Lebanese man who arrived from West Africa is suspected of having Ebola and was quarantined on Thursday in a Beirut hospital, the first such suspected case in the country, Lebanon's health minister said.

New, faster therapeutic hypothermia techniques

2 hours ago

Rapid lowering of body temperature following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) can be an effective therapeutic strategy to minimize damage to the heart muscle caused by the loss and restoration of blood ...

Sri Lanka celebrates two years without malaria

6 hours ago

Sri Lanka has not reported a local case of malaria since October 2012, according to the Sri Lankan Anti-Malarial Campaign. If it can remain malaria-free for one more year, the country will be eligible to apply to the World ...

User comments