ISLAMABAD: Polio travel ban, Pakistan jumps into action fearing

Pakistan has spun into action fearing WHO restrictions on passengers travelling abroad without poliovirus inoculation certification.

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According to informants, the Ministry of Health has predicted an “emergency” meeting next week to chalk out a plan to head off a vaccination related international travel ban.

World Health Organization (WHO), after a recently held meeting, had alleged that sticking to several days of closed-door discussions, it would settle whether to hold the new spread of polio a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” that could require measures such as travel restrictions.

The UN agency’s International Health Regulations’ (IHR) Emergency Committee has already warned Pakistan over its failure to completely control the spread of virus as more and more examples were being reported from across the land every day.

The authors in the national health department told Samoa that the ministry had decided to make ‘polio immunization certificate’ mandatory before international travel.

Moreover, special counters will be set up at all the airports in this esteem.

Poliomyelitis, a crippling and potentially fatal viral disease that primarily affects children below the age of five, has come close to being beaten as the result of a 25-year effort.

The number of recorded cases worldwide has decreased from 350,000 in 1988 to 406 in 2013, according to WHO data.

Polio is currently endemic in three states, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, down from 125 in 1988

 “Nevertheless, wild poliovirus continues to spread internationally from both endemic and re-infected countries,” the WHO stated.

“Between January and April 2014, in what is normally the down season for transmission, three new international wild importation events have been observed, one each in Asia (Pakistan to Afghanistan), the Middle East (Syria to Iraq) and central Africa (Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea).”

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