ISLAMABAD, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of polio cases has increasingly declined in Pakistan due to consolidated and consistent efforts by the government of Pakistan, a senior lawmaker has informed National Assembly.
Farhana Qamar, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, told the assembly on Thursday that the number of polio cases has steadily declined from highs of 306 in 2014 to just eight in 2017.
The parliamentary secretary added that no polio case has been reported during the current year.
The National Assembly was informed that an estimated 600,000 cases of polio linked deaths and paralysis have been avoided in the country due to consistent efforts and firm steps taken by the government to eradicate the disease.
Polio eradication is being tackled as a national public health emergency by a task force led by the country's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the lawmaker told the House.
The government of Pakistan had kicked off countrywide anti-polio campaign on Monday this week.
Muhammad Safdar, National Coordinator for National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, informed local media that over 38 million children under five years of age in the country would be given anti-polio drops during the campaign.
He said the number of children to be targeted in the campaign included 19.15 million in the country's eastern Punjab province, 8.7 million in southern Sindh province, 5.7 million in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 2.46 million in southwestern Balochistan province.
Some 260,000 anti-polio workers have been deployed to perform duties during the countrywide campaign, the official said.