KARACHI - Another polio case surfaced in Karachi on Friday, taking the city's total toll to seven and the country's toll this year to 84.
The 22-month-old child namely Murad, a resident of Karachi's Landhi area, is the latest victim of the debilitating polio virus in the city, where polio vaccinators have come under attack in recent years.
The parents of the victim refused to allow vaccination for their child when the anti-polio campaign began in the area. Refusal rates in troubled areas of Karachi have risen as families are reluctant to be associated with the polio drive for fear of a backlash. There have been increasing refusals in Sindh particularly during the last year. Most of them came either from Pakhtun families and a few districts which have witnessed some militant attacks in the recent past.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio is still endemic but efforts to stamp out the crippling disease have been hit by repeated attacks on health teams. Last year, total number of polio cases in Pakistan rose to 93 as compared to 58 in 2012; the number of infected districts/towns/tribal agencies/ areas in the country was 20 as compared to 28 in the preceding year.