Polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, is now endemic in only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan’s polio cases are declining, with just 54 cases of polio virus reported last year, down more than 80 per cent from 2014, when the country suffered a large spike in cases.
The latest immunisation push aims to finish vaccinating every child in the country by the end of May. Efforts to eliminate polio in Pakistan have been complicated in recent years, as polio workers have faced attacks by militants who say the health teams are Western spies, or that the vaccines they administer are intended to sterilise children.
In January, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people outside a polio eradication centre in the restive western city of Quetta, with two militant groups claiming responsibility.
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