[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pakistan urged to vaccinate against polio

World Health Organisation says 21 nations urge Pakistan to vaccinate all of its children to stop disease spreading.

Last updated: 13 Nov 2013 13:26
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Somalia has begun vaccinating against polio [Unicef]

Pakistan is being urged to vaccinate all of its children against polio amid a dangerous outbreak that has reached Syria and neighbouring countries.

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that 21 nations from the Middle East and surrounding area signed a joint declaration on eradicating the disease, pointing to Pakistan as a key part of the problem.

The UN's health organisation said said earlier this week that the polio virus had been confirmed in 13 of 22 children who became paralyzed in a northern Syrian province.

The WHO said the Syria outbreak comes from a strain that originated in Pakistan, where, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, it is endemic - and has been spreading across the Middle East.

It says the virus has been detected in Egypt, and closely related strains of Pakistani origin turned up in sewage samples in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but higher immunisation rates in those places have helped keep the virus in check.

Pakistan approved the resolution, which the WHO says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE, and Yemen.

Pakistan's efforts to vaccinate children against the disease are often frustrated by attacks by fighters, including those from organistations such as the Pakistan Taliban, who claim the programme is a Western front to undermine them.

219

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.