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By Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern over 584,046 Pakistani children missed during its most recent nationwide polio vaccination campaign and has said those children could threaten the health of the 35m-strong population of Pakistanis of immunisable ages.
The children included more than 528,000 whom medics missed during their July 16-18 campaign, the WHO said in an August 1 statement. Also, parents of almost 56,000 children refused to let medics vaccinate them. Quetta had the most parental refusals -- 5,589.
Reaching every child is the only way to eradicate polio in Pakistan, one of only three polio-endemic countries, the WHO said. Taliban militants have blocked vaccination efforts in North Waziristan, putting 318,000 children at risk, according to the WHO.