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First Polio Case Identified In Pakistan’s Waziristan Since Taliban Immunization Ban

“A child has contracted polio for the first time in Pakistan’s militant-infested tribal belt since the Taliban banned vaccinations a year ago, a U.N. official said Monday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Tribesmen in North Waziristan, Pakistan’s most notorious stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants, endorsed the Taliban ban and stopped authorities from vaccinating children under a nationwide campaign,” the news service notes. “We are worried because this new case comes as an example of a bigger impending outbreak of disease in the region,” Elias Durry, the WHO’s senior coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan, told AFP, the news service writes. According to AFP, “Durry said the United Nations and the Pakistani government are working together to reach out to the children in North Waziristan” (AFP 5/6).