Jan 6, 2012

Two polio cases reported in first week of 2012


Within three days of the start of the New Year, two children from Balochistan, including a girl, have tested positive for polio.

And if these cases are anything to go by, then the year seems to be no different from the previous one, which reported 181 cases against the previous year’s count of 144. Ironically, the two children inhabit Balochistan’s western Pashtun belt notorious for high polio incidence.

The Prime Minister’s Polio Eradication Cell names the two as year-old Mohibullah Khan of Roghni area and 11-month-old Farzana Bibi of Gulistan Karez in Qila Abdullah district. Last year, Balochistan topped the list of polio-affected provinces/regions with 69 cases followed by FATA (52), Sindh (31), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (21), Punjab (7) and Gilgit-Baltistan (1). Like the past many years, Islamabad remained polio-free.

There are fears that more cases could surface in Balochistan, especially its western parts bordering Afghanistan, where people are opposed to immunisation of children.