Pakistan could beat polio in months: WHO

    Pakistan could beat polio in months: WHO

    May 16, Islamabad: Health officials say that polio could be eradicated in Pakistan within months, as a mass vaccination drive is launched.

    A World Health Organisation spokesman said that only a handful of cases have been reported this year in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan. 
    The two countries are the last places where polio remains endemic.

    It is hoped millions of children will be vaccinated over three days. Police escorts will guard against Islamist militants who oppose immunizations, reports said.

    The WHO's representative for Pakistan, Dr Michel Thieren said that the challenges the country had were both logistics and security.

    He said about 70,000 medical staff aimed to immunise almost 10 million children in the drive, which is taking place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and semi-autonomous tribal areas in the north-west, as well as in south-west Balochistan province.

    "They have with them 12 million doses for the coming three days," he said.

    Pakistan recorded more than 300 polio cases in 2014, its highest number since 1999. The number of cases fell to 52 last year.

    The Oslo Times


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