Via Dawn.com: Pakistan, Afghanistan to boost anti-polio cooperation. Excerpt:
QUETTA: Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed on Friday to strengthen mutual cooperation for making anti-polio campaign in border areas of the two countries effective.
This was decided at a coordination meeting between the two countries on the eradication of polio here on Friday. The two-day meeting was organised in collaboration with Unicef.
Of all the polio cases reported worldwide in 2014 so far, more than 70 per cent belong to Pakistan.
Extensive cross-border movement by people is one of the major challenges faced by the two countries because this has proved to be the main cause for the spread of polio virus.
According to Balochistan’s Minister for Health Rehmat Baloch, an estimated 800 children are vaccinated every day at the Friendship Gate near the Chaman border between the two countries. “We need to ensure each and every child crossing the border is immunised,” he added.
Although no polio case was reported in Balochistan for the past 20 months, there is a risk of polio virus transmission from people crossing into Balochistan from Afghanistan. Recently, a polio case was reported in southern Afghanistan.