By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan on Saturday has reported its first polio case of 2019 from northwestern Bajaur tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering with Afghanistan, official said.
"Today first Polio virus case of the current year has been reported from Bajaur district where the crippling virus paralyzed a 11 months old child" Babar Atta, head of polio eradication program of Pakistan told Anadolu Agency.
Six polio cases have been reported from Bajaur for the last three months.
In other several big cities including Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Peshawar and Faisalabad there is active polio virus circulation in the sewage which is a big risk for our children, Atta informed.
Pakistan is among three countries in the world, including Afghanistan and Nigeria, where polio virus still exists and the country remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2014, WHO made it mandatory for all people traveling from Pakistan to carry a polio vaccination certificate.
Armed assailants belonging to militant groups have frequently targeted polio vaccinators and their security detail in several parts of Pakistan. The groups see the anti-polio campaigns are part of an elaborate anti-Muslim and Western conspiracy, and often issue death threats to vaccinators, many of whom are women, for administrating the vital vaccines to children.
In April 2016, assailants gunned down seven policemen who were providing security to polio vaccinators in the southern port city of Karachi.
According to Pakistani officials around 88 people associated with the drive have been killed across Pakistan since December 2012.
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Pakistan confirms first polio case in 2019
By Islamuddin Sajid