Anti-polio drive to begin in Pak

Islamabad, Aug 26 (IANS) As part of the Pakistan governments renewed efforts to eradicate polio, anti-polio campaigns were set to start in various parts on the country, including Lahore, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan, on Monday.

The campaigns of various lengths will span over the next seven days, Dawn news reported.

Previous attempts at such campaigns and use of the anti-polio vaccine have been met with resistance amongst some parts of the country which has led to many children not being vaccinated against the disease.

This lack of control has caused Pakistan to be one of three remaining nations, the other two being Afghanistan and Nigeria, that are still fighting polio.

Most recently, five new cases of polio have brought the total number up to 58 this year, indicating a sharp increase of 383.33 per cent from last year's figure of 12.

Out of the 58 cases reported this year, 44 were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the province has been experiencing outbreaks since October 2018.

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan showed "serious concern" over the recent spike in polio cases in the country and directed federal and provincial government officials to undertake effective awareness and immunisation campaigns so that the disease can be kept in check.

Khan also announced that he will start leading the polio programme from November.

--IANS

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