Start News Pakistan has started the first nationwide polio vaccine campaign this year

Pakistan has started the first nationwide polio vaccine campaign this year

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In five days, more than 260,000 aides will vaccinate 39.2 million children under the age of five, said spokesperson for vaccination affairs, Babar Bin Atta, on Monday.

According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Pakistan is the only country besides Afghanistan that has been reported with wild poliovirus diseases the previous year. In Somalia, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Niger and the Congo, isolated polio cases have been attributed to vaccination with live vaccines. In Europe so-called dead vaccines are used, from which this danger does not run out.

Recently, efforts to eradicate the dangerous contagious viral disease in Pakistan have been successful, with Atta reporting that the number of new infections fell from 306 in 2014 to 12 in 2018.

This is not least because vaccination teams after military offensives in areas in the northwest of the country, which were several years under the control of militants. In the past, these had often attacked vaccine teams and also killed helpers – partly because of rumors that the vaccine was used to make Muslim children infertile. Polio threatens especially infants. One in 200 infections leads to permanent paralysis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Up to ten percent of paralyzed children die. There is no cure, only the preventive vaccine provides protection.