Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pakistan: Experts fear Polio outbreak in Khyber Agency

The Frontier Post
The confirmation of a Type-1 polio case from Khyber Agency in FATA has taken Pakistan’s national polio count to 17 from 10 districts and tribal agencies so far in the calendar year . Seventh case of polio has been reported from Khyber Agency, where a potential outbreak looms large in the absence of concrete measures to halt poliovirus transmission.The latest case has been confirmed from village Usai Khula Ghundi,Tehsil Jamrud in Khyber Agency. The affected child, Salma, is aged 21 months and is the daughter of Allah Noor.Out of the seven polio cases reported from Khyber Agency so far this year, six are from the inaccessible Bara Tehsil. There is a dire need to gain access and to strengthen vaccination activities in areas of Khyber Agency that have remained inaccessible to polio teams on account of the prevailing security situation. Over 150,000 children in Khyber Agency have missed polio vaccination since 2009.Moreover, even in areas that are free of the challenge of inaccessibility, the country has lagged behind in meeting the standards laid down in the augmented National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication. Khyber Agency is the only region of the the country that remains conspicuous for both Type-1 and Type-3 poliovirus circulation in 2012.