PESHAWAR: Three more polio cases have surfaced in Pakistan after which the toll this year has mounted to 72.

Media reports said polio cases have surfaced in Torghar district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jaffarabad district of Balochistan and Karachi.

A spokesman for the Emergency Operation Centre said 53 cases have surfaced in KP, eight cases have surfaced in Sindh,

Five in Punjab and six in Balochistan this year.

In Torghar, a 21-month-old boy has been diagnosed with the crippling disease. The family of the infant said his blood sample was sent to National Institute of Health in Islamabad on September 17 and he has now been tested positive for poliovirus.

In Karachi, the fresh polio case has surfaced from Orangi area where a 17-month-old girl had become the fourth polio victim in the mega city this year.

In Jaffarabad, a 15-month-old boy has been paralysed due to poliovirus. Parents of the victim child said the infant felt weakness in his legs and became paralysed after suffering from high fever.

Prime Minister Imran Khan last month expressed serious concern over recent spike in polio cases in the country and had directed federal and provincial government officials to undertake effective awareness and immunisation campaigns to eliminate the disease. The concerned authorities are planning massive vaccination campaigns particularly in the affected areas to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The EOC Coordinator Abdul Basit said in a recent statement that the main reason behind emergence of recent polio cases is refusal of the parents to administer polio drops to their children. He said the problem can be overcome if all the parents cooperate with the vaccination teams and not even a single child misses vaccination. The EOC coordinator said polio vaccine is safe in every respect. He said parents should not pay heed to negative propaganda against polio vaccination and save their children from the crippling disease by fully cooperating with the vaccination teams and giving polio vaccine to their children.

Recently, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of World Health Organisation (WHO) on Polio Eradication declared Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a major barrier to polio eradication efforts in Pakistan.