ISLAMABAD – The number of polio cases continues to rise as three new type-1 cases have been confirmed by National Institute of Health from the samples collected in December last year.

According to officials still more samples are pending so there could be more cases that could raise polio count of 2011. Samples tested positive for polio received during 2011 will continue to be part of the 2011 tally for the next few weeks. As the pending samples from December are being tested, samples from January are still awaited from provinces and cases will start coming in February.

According to polio journal released on Thursday, two cases are from Khyber Agency (FATA) whereas one case from Tank (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) confirmed this week that raised the number of polio cases to 192.

So far 72 cases have been confirmed from Balochistan, 8 cases from Punjab, 32 cases from Sindh, 22 cases from KPK, 57 from FATA, one case from Gilgit-Baltistan and no cases has been reported from Islamabad yet.

Members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly have voiced serious concern over the continued presence of poliovirus in their province. They vowed to make all out efforts in rooting out the disease from KP. This assertion was made during a special meeting of members of the provincial assembly with Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication when she visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take stock of the polio situation in the province.

Senior Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bashir Ahmad Bilour and Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly, Mr. Khushdil Khan were also present on the occasion. Shahnaz Wazir Ali briefed the participants on the serious situation of poliovirus transmission in KPK and gave a district-wise overview of cases reported in 2011 as compared to 2010.

On the occasion, MPAs gave various suggestions to enhance polio campaign coverage. It was observed that there is a serious need for active involvement of all MPAs in the campaign in their respective constituencies.

Shahnaz Wazir Ali asked the MPAs to take active participation in the polio eradication initiative through the District Polio Eradication Committees. She promised to take up the issue with the Provincial Chief Secretary for a formal notification to this effect.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Polio Eradication was held in Peshawar on January 7 at the Governor House. Chaired by Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Barrister Masood Kausar, the meeting was attended by Chief Secretary, KP and DCOs and Political Agents of all districts of KP and Agencies of FATA.

Purpose of the meeting was to review the level of preparedness for the polio campaign starting from January 30, 2012.