Islamabad [Pakistan], January 20 (ANI): No polio campaign has been conducted in the Mehsud belt of Pakistan's South Waziristan for the past six months, as it was not allowed, The Express Tribune reported citing the National Coordinator Emergency Operation Center, Shahzad Baig. Shahzad Baig said that 99 per cent of women in Pakistan's North and South Waziristan have not been included in the polio teams, The Express Tribune reported citing Express News. He called frontline workers an asset to the campaign and stressed that there is a dire need to improve the security situation in this regard.
Shahzad Baig said Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, during his visit to Pakistan, said the country's polio programme is technically very strong and expressed satisfaction over the initiative but added that they are helpless with regards to people's response, as per The Express Tribune report. Baig said people have concerns over receiving the polio vaccine.
As per the news report, sometimes people call it an international conspiracy and there is also the notion that "ingestion of polio drops renders males impotent until they reach the age of puberty and their married life may be affected".
Shahzad Baig said the polio virus still exists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As per the news report, the polio virus is present in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions, including Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat and Bannu, as per the news report. He said polio virus is mostly present in areas bordering Afghanistan where there is regular movement of people from both sides. "Polio virus is most present in areas bordering Afghanistan where there is regular movement of people from both sides. However, no cases have been reported since the last polio case was reported in September last year," The Express Tribune quoted Baig as saying.
As many as 20 polio cases were reported till September 2022 and among those, 17 cases were reported in North Waziristan, according to The Express Tribune.
Baig further said that so far, 62 polio workers and police personnel involved in security during the anti-polio campaign have been killed. (ANI)