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'Low chances of polio coming to India from Pakistan'

May 31, 2012 - 8:49:40 PM
The nine-member delegation also met Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to discuss India's strategy in containing polio.

 
[RxPG] New Delhi, May 31 - Despite apprehensions, India is not at risk of the polio virus being exported from Pakistan, the Pakistani Prime Minister's Focal Person for Polio Shahnaz Wazir Ali said here Thursday.

Ali, who is in India leading a delegation on polio, said historically, there had been no such incidence of polio being exported from Pakistan to India or other countries, except a few isolated cases.

The likeliness of polio virus being exported to India from Pakistan is very low, and historically, it has not happened, Ali told reporters here .

Those who travel from India to Pakistan are mostly adults. There are rarely any babies. So the chances are low, she said.

India, which has just been removed from the list of polio endemic countries, has been worried about import of the virus from neighbouring Pakistan, which, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, is among the last three countries where polio is prevalent.

Posts have been created on India-Pakistan border to administer polio drops to children in a bid to stop export of the virus from either side.

Asked about the polio strain which had spread to China from Pakistan, delegation member Azra Fazal Pechuho said it was a case of export through adults, from Chinese who had come to work in Pakistan.

The export of polio virus from Pakistan is mostly to Afghanistan and vice-versa, Pechuho said.

The nine-member delegation also met Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to discuss India's strategy in containing polio.

We got to know what actually took India to become polio-free. We have understood the scale and efforts that we require to make Pakistan polio-free, Ali said.



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