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Pakistan’s Polio Program No Longer On Track: WHO Says It’s Deeply Concerned

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday raised grave concerns over Pakistan’s polio program saying that it was no longer on track.

The International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee, convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reviewed the wild poliovirus (WPV1) data from several countries including, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Somalia.

Regarding Pakistan, the committee said that it “is gravely concerned by the significant further increase in WPV1 cases globally this year, particularly in Pakistan.”

WHO cited cases in Lahore in their report and said that the problem persisted even outside the high-risk areas in the country. The committee further expressed its concerns about the attacks on vaccinators and the police accompanying them.

The committee put more emphasis over education the people about the importance of the vaccination and addressing the issue. “It is now essential that the new government renews its efforts, noting that the eradication program in the country is no longer on-track,” it said.

It also recommended that the above countries ensure that all residents between four week and 12 months receive a dose of oral vaccine before international travel. In addition, the travellers be provided an international certificate of vaccination.

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