In this file photo, a policemen accompanies polio workers on an immunisation campaign. — Reuters/File


In this file photo, a policemen accompanies polio workers on an immunisation campaign. — Reuters/File
  • KP’s Tank witnesses latest attack on a polio team.
  • Unidentified men open fire at police personnel.
  • Pakistan has so far reported 14 polio cases in 2021.

TANK: Two police personnel — deployed on polio campaign duty — were martyred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Tank when unidentified men opened fire at them.

The incident happened in Kot Azam, Tank district. Scores of polio workers and security officials guarding them have been killed since 2012 by militants.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries where the virus hasn’t been eradicated. In April, Pakistan reported the first case of polio in 15 months. Since then 14 polio more cases have been reported.

“Two gunmen hiding near a small water channel opened fire on the policemen from a very close range,” senior officer Waqar Ahmad Khan told AFP.

“The gunmen spared the two-member polio vaccination team… and fled on a motorbike.”

PM condemns incident

In response, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack on a polio team in Tank, saying the enemies of the health of the nation’s young generation would be strongly dealt with.

He expressed sympathies with the policemen who lost lives in the line of duty and said the nation paid tribute to the great sacrifices rendered by police.

PM Shehbaz said those involved in the attacks on the polio team wanted to make the children of the country suffer from disabilities due to the crippling disease.

He vowed to eliminate the persons pursuing such agenda and nefarious designs against the young generation.

Polio eradication drive

For eradicating the menace of polio, a ten-day campaign was kicked in Tank this Monday to administer vaccination drops to more than 74,954 children aged up to five years.

The drive, which will continue from August 15 to 24, had been formally inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Tank Hameedullah Khattak along with Army Commanding Officer and Tehsil Chairman tank Sadam Khan Bittani by giving polio drops to the children on the occasion of 14 August Independence Day.

The United States reported its first case of polio in almost a decade in July, while Britain said last week that around one million children in London will be offered a booster vaccine after the virus was detected in sewage samples.

What is poliovirus?

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.

While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased.

Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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