By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reported three additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases during the past week in Pakistan,

Afghanistan Pakistan map/Public domain image- Pahari Sahib

The cases were seen in Karachi Orangi in Sindh province, Jafarabad in Balochistan province and Torghar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

This brings the total in Pakistan to 72 in 2019 to date. Seventy four percent of cases this year have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (53).

The total this year is higher than in recent years–2018 (12), 2017 (8), 2016 (20) and 2015 (54).

End Polio Pakistan reports the causes of this rise in polio in the country are linked to the following:

One of the most intractable challenges has been refusals by parents and caregivers to immunize their children with the polio vaccine. Such refusals are often the product of “polio fatigue” – where communities that are deprived of many basic services i.e. health, nutrition, water and sanitation grow weary of repeated knocks at the door for polio activities.

Added to this, the spread of misinformation and propaganda, fuelled by social media, has stirred up mistrust in the polio vaccine that has now materialized as real community resistance to vaccination. In addition to these external challenges, inconsistent and suboptimal campaign quality in some areas, massive population movements across the borders with Afghanistan and within the country, inadequate delivery of routine immunization services, amongst others, have contributed to the currently expanding epidemiology.

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Including the 16 WPV1 cases in Afghanistan this year, the global total is now 88.

In addition to the new WPV1 cases, seven more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases were reported this week– three in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and four in the Central African Republic.

Globally, there has been 95 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases from 12 countries in Africa and Asia.