PESHAWAR - Polio virus was confirmed in an 18-month-old child in the provincial metropolis yesterday raising the total number of polio cases to 17 surfacing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to details, two months back, the polio virus was reported in 18-month-old Ayesha, daughter of Mursaleen, resident of Nakkai Shakarpura, but on Saturday, the polio virus was confirmed, Dr Johar told The Nation.

“So I can say it was the case of 2015, but confirmed in 2016,” he said.

He disclosed that Ayesha was cousin of the 12-month-old Muhammad Maaz, s/o Alamzeb, a resident of the same village who had already been diagnosed with polio a week back.

The doctor said that reason behind this case was that Maaz’s family had refused to administer doses of the polio vaccine (OPV) to the kid.

It is worth-mentioning here that despite repeated vaccination drives, cases of polio are emerging.

The number of polio cases reported in Pakistan recently has gone up to 54, of them 17 in KP and 16 in Fata respectively, he said.

Pakistan is one of the only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic but efforts to eradicate the disease have been severely hindered in recent years as militants continue to attack immunisation teams and polio workers.

Moreover, anti-polio teams in the past have been attacked by terrorists who feel that the vaccination drive is a conspiracy by the West to spy on them or to render the Muslim generation infertile.

The global polio eradication initiative, which was previously thought to be achieved by 2015 making the world polio-free, had been revised with the new deadline as 2018.