Pakistan records 72 polio cases in 2013: WHO

December 4, 2013

Pakistan recorded 72 cases of polio this year compared to 58 for all of 2012, a World Health Organisation (WHO)official said on Wednesday.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the highly infectious crippling disease remains endemic.

But opposition from has hampered efforts to immunise , with vaccination teams murdered in some cases.

Officials said the violence and suspicions about the were the reason for the increase in cases.

"Pakistan has reported 72 cases which is highest in comparison to two other countries with the disease, as Nigeria has 50 cases and Afghanistan reported only nine during 2013," Elias Durry, emergency coordinator for the WHO's Polio Eradication Pakistan Program, told reporters.

According to a global update for polio cases, Pakistan had 58 cases last year while Nigeria had 110 and Afghanistan 31.

Six cases this year have been reported in the eastern province of Punjab, six in Sindh in the south and 10 in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

But by far the bulk of the infections—50—were in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border.

The Pakistani Taliban banned polio vaccinations in the tribal region of Waziristan last year, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage.

"We successfully immunised over 33 million children during the recent vaccination campaign while 2.3 million children were recorded missed during the campaign," Durry said.

He said that in most cases children were missed in the areas where the law and order situation was not favourable, and where vaccination teams faced security threats.

More than 47,000 children missed vaccination because of parental refusals.

In August health officials warned of the danger of a serious in the northwest, saying more than 240,000 children had missed vaccination because of the Taliban ban.

Elsewhere in the country, health workers giving out polio drops have been attacked and killed, including in the largest city Karachi.

Polio cases reached a low of 28 in 2005 but rose to 198 in 2011.

Last month, the WHO linked an outbreak of polio in Syria that has paralysed 13 children to a strain of the virus from Pakistan.

Explore further: Polio cases in Pakistan pass 2012 total

Related Stories

Polio cases in Pakistan pass 2012 total

November 13, 2013
Polio is on the rise in Pakistan, health officials said Wednesday, as the number of infections in 2013 passed the total for the whole of 2012.

Second child contracts polio in Pakistan's Waziristan

May 23, 2013
A second child has contracted polio in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border after the Taliban banned vaccinations there nearly a year ago, a UN official said Thursday.

Pakistan warns of polio outbreak after fresh cases

August 28, 2013
Health officials in Pakistan on Wednesday warned of a serious polio outbreak after the disease was detected in 16 children in a tribal district where militant groups have banned vaccination.

240,000 Pakistani children miss anti-polio drive (Update)

March 29, 2013
(AP)—Some 240,000 children have missed U.N.-backed vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a top official with the World Health Organization said Friday.

First polio case in Pakistan's Waziristan since Taliban ban

May 6, 2013
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.

UN launches polio vaccination campaign in Mideast

November 9, 2013
The United Nations says a massive campaign to vaccinate children in the Middle East against polio has begun after the first cases in 14 years were confirmed in northeastern Syria last week.

Recommended for you

Four simple tests could help GPs spot pneumonia and reduce unnecessary antibiotics

November 23, 2017
Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory ...

New approach to tracking how deadly 'superbugs' travel could slow their spread

November 22, 2017
Killer bacteria - ones that have out-evolved our best antibiotics—may not go away anytime soon. But a new approach to tracking their spread could eventually give us a fighting chance to keep their death toll down.

Research points to diagnostic test for top cause of liver transplant in kids

November 22, 2017
Biliary atresia is the most common cause of liver transplants for children in the United States. Now researchers report in Science Translational Medicine finding a strong biomarker candidate that could be used for earlier ...

Metabolites altered in chronic kidney disease

November 22, 2017
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 1 in 7 people in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). These individuals have a very high risk of cardiovascular ...

Alcohol consumption and metabolic factors act together to increase the risk of severe liver disease

November 22, 2017
A new study provides insights into the interaction between alcohol consumption and metabolic factors in predicting severe liver disease in the general population. The findings, which are published in Hepatology, indicate ...

Rainfall can indicate that mosquito-borne epidemics will occur weeks later

November 22, 2017
A new study demonstrates that outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses Zika and Chikungunya generally occur about three weeks after heavy rainfall.Researchers also found that Chikungunya will predominate over Zika when both circulate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.