Pakistan recorded highest number of polio cases in 14 years
Pakistan recorded the highest number of polio cases in 14 years.
Pakistan recorded the highest number of polio cases in 14 years. This was revealed by the data of polio cases released by the National Institute of Health of Pakistan on 3 October 2014.
The data revealed that polio cases in 2014 reached 202 which was the highest in 14 years. The previous highest was recorded in 2000 when it reached 199 polio cases.
One of the prime reasons for the increase in the polio cases in 2014 was cited as the rise on attacks on immunisation teams.
Militants attack immunization teams
Most of the infections are in the north-western tribal region where militants have targeted health teams. Militants there accuse doctors of being spies and say the vaccinations are part of a Western plot to sterilise Muslims.
Since December 2012, about 60 people, including health workers and police providing security to medical teams, have been killed by Taliban militants targeting polio teams.
Suspicions over the programmes worsened after the US was accused of using a fake vaccination programme during its tracking of Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.
Other than Afghanistan and Nigeria, Pakistan is one of three countries where polio is still endemic. The country has failed to curb the disease despite massive investment on immunisation programmes by the international community.
Earlier in 2014, the World Health Organization imposed travel restrictions on the country meaning all Pakistanis must now carry proof of vaccination before travelling abroad.