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Two-Year-Old Child in Pakistan Becomes First Victim of Polio in 2015

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Two-Year-Old Child in Pakistan Becomes First Victim of Polio in 2015

File Photo: A Pakistani doctor administers the polio vaccine to a child at his clinic in Peshawar. (Agence France-Presse)

Islamabad:  Pakistan's first polio case in 2015 was today reported with a two-year-old child from the restive Balochistan province becoming the latest victim of the crippling disease.

The polio virus was found in the child who lives in Chaghi district's Barabcha area that lies close to the Pakistan-Afghan border, Dawn online said, citing its sources from the Balochistan Health Department.

"At this point in time, we cannot say whether the parents had refused polio drops," the paper quoted sources as saying.

The 2014 was the toughest year for the Pakistan anti-polio programme as the number of confirmed cases were 296, the highest in the country since 1999.

A total of 22 polio cases were reported from Balochistan last year - most of these were reported from Quetta, Killa Abdullah and Pishin districts of the province.

During the past six months, Pakistan has topped in the world polio cases, witnessing 85 per cent of all the polio cases that reported around the world. Afghanistan was second with 23 cases and Nigeria on third with six cases.

In view of increasing such cases, the provincial government has already declared emergency to eradicate the crippling virus from Balochistan.

Security is the main reason for the spread of polio virus as vaccination cannot be organised in tribal areas where Taliban still control large areas. Militants have killed at least 64 health workers and their escorts.

They consider polio medicine as a conspiracy by the West to sterile Muslims. Peshawar is considered as hub of polio virus.

Polio is still endemic in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. The World Health Organization in May last year imposed travel restriction on Pakistan.

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