Friday 3 December 2021
ALL
ASIA
NEWS
OPINION
FOCUS
MULTIMEDIA
NEWSLETTER
Polio cases surge in Pakistan
作者: Nasir Aijaz on 2 December , 2014.
类别: All, Asia, Contribution, News, Opinion, Others, Society, South Asia, South-East Asia
A Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (Photo : AP/NEWSis)
Pakistan is heading for one of its worst years for polio in recent times. According to figures from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), 166 cases of polio have been verified this year, compared to 28 at the same time last year, says a report released by United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).
This puts the country at significant risk of crossing the 199-mark officially recorded in 2000, or the 198 seen in 2011. It is a major setback for a country that as recently as 2005 saw just 28 cases, with everything seemingly on track for polio eradication. Last year there were 93 cases in the country, according to the GPEI.
The worst affected areas, according to State Minister for the National Health Service (NHS), Saira Afzal Tarar, are the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP), where militants often prevent vaccination.
“Pakistan presents one of the most complex polio eradication environments in the world,” Ban Khalid Al-Dhayi, spokesperson for UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was quoted as saying by IRIN. “In the areas that remain with poliovirus, there is inaccessibility, violence, misconceptions and misinformation that circulates every day, along with intricate tribal and cultural norms and systems.”
“Massive daily population movements” were also described as a major problem by UNICEF.
Al-Dhayi said the recent movement of more than one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) following the military operation in North Waziristan Agency had raised fears of the virus spreading to areas which had not previously seen infections. More than 400,000 children were vaccinated at transit points as they moved out of the conflict zone in FATA and settled in host communities in KP, Punjab and Sindh.
IDPs who settled in parts of Punjab due to ongoing floods could also increase risks.
While KP health officials based at the Provincial Polio Control Room (PPCR) in Peshawar agree the IDP influx poses a polio risk, they disagree, according to media reports, that refusals (those refusing to be vaccinated) are declining, and blame UN communications authorities for this.
According to PPCR data, the number of refusals increased from 4,200 during the polio vaccination drive carried out between 6-8 June, to 12,043 during the vaccination campaign run from 23-25 June. UNICEF, however, says they have separately seen a sharp fall in the rate of refusals, and claim successes for social mobilization and awareness raising.
IDPs themselves appear keen to receive the drops: “I was desperate for my three young children to get them, and queued up with many others when vaccinators got here,” said Aziz Dawar, who fled North Waziristan in mid-June. He told IRIN his three children aged 8-2 had not yet received any vaccinations.
Weak prevention systems
On 1 June Pakistan enforced a WHO recommendation – seen as draconian by some – that anyone travelling overseas from Pakistan had to produce certification that they had received polio drops, to prevent the export of the virus.
Prior to this move, the emergency coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan, Elias Durry, explained to IRIN that Pakistan had “informally been labeled” as an “exporter of polio” when strains of the virus originating from the country were found in China, Syria, Egypt, Israel and Palestine. “There needs to be no more import/export of polio virus for at least six months,” Durry said.
While officially polio teams are set up at airports to administer vaccination drops, in reality implementation has been reportedly patchy, with travelers saying they had been able to travel without receiving the drops.
“It’s all just on paper. No one really bothers with drops or certificates in reality,” an official who asked not to be named told IRIN from Lahore Airport. Shortages of vaccines have also held back anti-polio campaigns.
Responding to this, NHS minister Saira Afzal Tarar told: “A loan from the Islamic Development Bank that I had been campaigning for has now been obtained, so we should be able to deliver drops more efficiently.” The minister said the precise loan details, including the amount, were still being finalized.
“Our approach is not right,” Anita Zaidi, head of pediatrics at Karachi’s Aga Khan Hospital, told IRIN. She said the lone focus on polio had had a negative effect, and that the vaccine should be given alongside others.
At ground level, the message is still struggling to be heard.
“Why don’t we do something to stop our children from being crippled by this terrible disease?” asked Azra Bibi in Bannu, whose cousin’s infant son caught polio five years ago and can now barely walk. “We keep hearing of more and more cases.” She said she herself had to battle her parents-in-law to get her two daughters vaccinated.
“They said the drops would make them sterile, but I spoke to doctors and also school teachers who are educated, and I know this is a lie,” said Azra, who now regularly visits an IDP camp to encourage mothers to vaccinate against polio.
“I want to keep our children safe,”she said.
Related Posts
Top 3 Favorite Choices of Chinese Travelers “Korea, Russia, Japan”
Drought and famine cause death of scores of children every year in Pakistan’s Thar Desert
Extremism haunts Pakistan’s Nobel Laureates
Wildlife trafficking from Pakistan ranks 3rd after arms and narcotics
Pakistan’s response to sinking of South Korean ferry
Gold for garbage: Innovative way of waste management
By Nasir Aijaz
Pakistan, Representative of The Asia N/Magazine N
View all Posts
Visit Website
Posts
Latest
Popular
Comments
Kyrgyzstan completes voting in parliamentary elections
by Nurzhan Kasmalieva - Comments Off on Kyrgyzstan completes voting in parliamentary elections
Kyrgyzstan votes for new parliament
by Nurzhan Kasmalieva - Comments Off on Kyrgyzstan votes for new parliament
Pre-school education in Uzbekistan
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Pre-school education in Uzbekistan
Global scholars discuss significance of great Uzbek poet Navoi’s literary heritage
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Global scholars discuss significance of great Uzbek poet Navoi’s literary heritage
‘World Taekwondo Peace Festival’ Held to Mark Olympic Taekwondo, UN International Day of Peace
by The AsiaN Editor - Comments Off on ‘World Taekwondo Peace Festival’ Held to Mark Olympic Taekwondo, UN International Day of Peace
Ulugbek Lapasov from Uzbekistan elected as Vice-president of UN Human Rights Council
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Ulugbek Lapasov from Uzbekistan elected as Vice-president of UN Human Rights Council
Gates upbeat Covid-19 may soon lose its venom
by Ivan Lim - Comments Off on Gates upbeat Covid-19 may soon lose its venom
Dostonbek Otabolayev makes history as first Uzbek to win world karate championship
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Dostonbek Otabolayev makes history as first Uzbek to win world karate championship
Uzbekistan starts mass production of Qalqon 4×4 domestic armored vehicles
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Uzbekistan starts mass production of Qalqon 4×4 domestic armored vehicles
French EDF, Qatari Nebras Power and Japanese Sojitz Corporation to jointly built 1,2 billion-dollar thermal power plant in Uzbekistan
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on French EDF, Qatari Nebras Power and Japanese Sojitz Corporation to jointly built 1,2 billion-dollar thermal power plant in Uzbekistan
Uzbek boxer Murodjon Akhmadaliev defends his IBF, WBO featherweight titles
by Dilmurod Jumaboev - Comments Off on Uzbek boxer Murodjon Akhmadaliev defends his IBF, WBO featherweight titles
[Hye-tak Seok’s Economic Talk] The metaverse is already breathing with us
by The AsiaN Editor - Comments Off on [Hye-tak Seok’s Economic Talk] The metaverse is already breathing with us
ICM International Martial Arts Academic Seminar explores social value of martial arts
by The AsiaN Editor - Comments Off on ICM International Martial Arts Academic Seminar explores social value of martial arts
Golden Medal for Silk Road Poet awarded by V Eurasia Literary Festival of Festivals
by The AsiaN Editor - Comments Off on Golden Medal for Silk Road Poet awarded by V Eurasia Literary Festival of Festivals
Korean organizations deliver humanitarian assistance to social institutions of Kyrgyzstan
by Nurzhan Kasmalieva - Comments Off on Korean organizations deliver humanitarian assistance to social institutions of Kyrgyzstan
China on 20 January 2012
by The AsiaN Editor - 26 Comments
Yemenites Supporting Southern Separatist Movement Wave South Yemen Flags During Rally In Aden
by The AsiaN Editor - 17 Comments
NK will launch ‘satellite’ despite sanction threat
by Andrei Nikolaevich Lankov - 15 Comments
UAE on 20 January 2012
by The AsiaN Editor - 13 Comments
A Singaporean temple goes ahead in practicing green energy
by Ivan Lim - 12 Comments
Pakistan Television airs Korean drama
by Nasir Aijaz - 8 Comments
Kim Jong-un At the Centre of Attention
by Kris Min - 7 Comments
China angered by NK move to usurp Chinese mining company
by Andrei Nikolaevich Lankov - 6 Comments
Plight of HIV infected in India
by Pramod Mathur - 5 Comments
Is Korea second-tier market for Apple?
by The Korea Times - 5 Comments
Impact of Media and Terrorism in Public Life
by Ramid Huseynov - 4 Comments
A Bangladesh musician says ‘Lylics today fail to touch heart’
by Abdur Rahman Khan - 4 Comments
Arab women artists seek “revolutionary” change
by Ashraf Dali - 4 Comments
NK media normally say nothing about economic reforms soon to be implemented
by Andrei Nikolaevich Lankov - 4 Comments
A Korean woman’s prison letter in Mexico
by The AsiaN Editor - 4 Comments
Trump, Kim, and the Three P’s of Summit Diplomacy: After Singapore, Can Sizzle Be Replaced With Steak?
Solijon: Magazine N, January 2019
Filipino remake of popular Korean drama 'Descendants of the Sun' worry fans - Interaksyon: “Descendants of the Sun” achieves international success
maratus solehah: Egyptian Novelist Youssef Ziedan: Religious terror of fanatic people starts when they speak in the name of God
Ain: Homosexuality in ancient and modern Korea
langur is angur: Refugees from Myanmar arrive in South Korea
Aelly: Pakistan Television airs Korean drama
Taruna Kushwah: Pakistan Television airs Korean drama
idiot849: Tracing history of Buddhism in Sindh
Vijay Maknikar: Tracing history of Buddhism in Sindh
Kritishown: Pakistan Television airs Korean drama
Was Kim’s Journey to Singapore a Very Totally different Nixon Second? ⋆ 10z US politics: Understanding S. Korea’s ‘386 generation’ and pro-north activists
Was Kim’s Trip to Singapore a Very Different Nixon Moment?: Understanding S. Korea’s ‘386 generation’ and pro-north activists
What is marketization and when did it begin in North Korea?: Is North Korea a ‘communist state’ or a ‘market economy’?
Can Mickey Mouse Reform North Korea? | NK News - North Korea News: NK media normally say nothing about economic reforms soon to be implemented
Fate of a fishmonger
Let’s introduce Ms. Yi (not her real name), one of…
Desktop Version | Switch To Mobile Version
Desktop Version | Switch To Mobile Version