ISLAMABAD - The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Saturday confirmed five more polio positive cases, taking Pakistan's tally to 99 this year. The new confirmed cases have been reported from North and South Waziristan Agencies, 3, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1, and Karachi, 1.
Jaul Haq, 24-month-old male child, and Maryam, 18-month-old female child, from North Waziristan Agency contracted the disease due inaccessibility to immunisation activities.
Fiaz, 18-month-old male child, a resident of Dabkot area of village Khwashi, tehsil Wana, South Waziristan Agency, was also not administered polio drops. Maira, 24-month-old female child, a resident of village Shagai, Lakki Marwat, remained inaccessible to polio vaccine due to refusal by her parents to vaccination.
Hamza, 21-month-old male child, a resident of Gadap Town Karachi, was also paralysed as his parents refused to administer him drops.
Out of 99 polio cases, 73 are from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (NWA, 57, SWA, 6, Khyber Agency, 8, FR Bannu, 2), 17 from KP (Peshawar, 6, Bannu, 9, Mardan, 1, Laki Marwat, 1) and 9 from Sindh (Karachi, 8, Sanghar, 1).
The country has already surpassed last year's polio count of 93 cases.
The current upsurge is the reflection of the lack of immunisation in the last two years, said Dr Elias Durry, the head of the World Health Organisation's polio eradication programme in Pakistan.
"The children will continue to fall prey to polio in these specific areas that are poorly immunised," he added. Accessing children from North Waziristan who are out of the agency will definitely reduce the number of cases in very future, he remarked.
"We hope to see the effects of the current immunisation of displaced people of the agency in 4 to 6 weeks," he added.