August 21, 2013 -- In a serious setback to the government’s efforts to eradicate poliovirus from the country, 14 suspected cases were reported in North Waziristan Agency and Frontier Region Bannu on Tuesday. Stool samples of the children were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad for confirmation.
A Taliban immunisation ban in North and South Waziristan agencies has dealt a serious blow to the government’s campaign against the crippling virus. The ban has left more than 250,000 tribal children vulnerable.
All but two suspected cases reported on Tuesday were from the Mir Ali, Razmak, Spinwam and Miramshah areas of North Waziristan. Alarmingly, so far this year three of the 14 confirmed polio cases in FATA are in North Waziristan. If the NIH confirms the new cases, North Waziristan would have 15 children with polio. The remaining two suspected cases of Tuesday were reported from FR Bannu.
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