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Polio and Pakistan... By Tajammal

11 February, 2014

In 2012, some 52 cases of polio were detected in Pakistan, which gradually increased to almost 78 cases by the end of 2013. The World Health Organization has warned that if special efforts are not made to eradicate this menace, Pakistan will be become one of the most dangerous countries in the world and might then be excluded from international tourism fearing the endemic's spread through personal contact, cargo and otherwise.

Human Rights Watch in its annual report published in January 2014 has said that at least 20 polio vaccinators, mostly young female nurses, had been killed in Pakistan while performing their duty. Bill Gates, whose foundation is funding the anti-polio drive in Pakistan, has suggested suspending the programme for becoming a deadly matter.

Of late the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has striven hard to vaccinate children, and has succeeded in it. The real issue though is FATA. One hopes that the government's nominated team for talks with the Taliban would put on its agenda this vital issue as well. It is the Taliban who had made thousands of children in our country handicapped.

S Tajammal H Rizvi
Lahore

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