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Pakistan to implement mandatory polio immunization points at airports

By Kyle Johnson,

Pakistan announced on Tuesday that the country is setting up mandatory polio immunization sites at international airports, following on the World Health Organization's recommendations.

On Monday, WHO announced that the spread of polio has become a global emergency and actions must be taken to curb its expansion.
WHO said that there were seven countries that were at risk of exporting the disease beyond their borders and three, Pakistan, Cameroon and Syrian Arab Republic that already were.

The organization suggested the countries implement procedures, including requiring mandatory immunizations for anyone traveling outside the country and certificates people must carry with them while traveling.

The United Nations health body said that last year about 60 percent of polio cases were spread because of adults traveling out of the country.

Pakistan moved quickly to follow WHO's recommendations and only a day later officials said there would be mandatory polo immunization sites, reports Voice of America. Pakistani Health Ministry spokesman Sajid Ali Shah said the country will also implement the immunization sites at all border crossings and seaports.

Pakistan's swift movement is likely because the country was the only one to see polio cases rise in 2013, from 58 to 83. Polio immunization rates have dropped in the country both because of an infertility belief and opposition from radical militants.

 
 

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