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Pakistan will be polio-free by end 2016, claims UNICEF

ISLAMABAD: Angela Kearney, the country representative UNICEF in Pakistan, said on Wednesday that through coordinated and collaborative efforts of the world organisations and the Pakistani government, polio would be eradicated from the country by the year end.

Angela Kearny said, in 2014 there were 309 polio cases in Pakistan but  the number significantly reduced to 17 in 2016.

She continued that in 2014, some 5,00,000 children could not be accessed for giving polio drops, however, now the number dropped significantly.

The High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Perry John Calderwood, while commenting on the issue, said that efforts should be made for the allocation of right resources for the development of the children.

The United Nations (UN) Children’s Fund is an organisation within the UN that helps to take care of the health and education of children all over the world.

Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic, according to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO).

The campaign to kill the virus in Pakistan has had some recent successes, with the number of new cases down last year, but violence against vaccination workers slowed the effort.

Teams in Pakistan working to immunise children against polio are often targeted by militant groups, who say the campaign is a cover for Western spies or accuse workers of distributing drugs designed to sterilise children.



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