Pakistan to import polio markers from India

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 25, 2019, 09.59 PM(IST)

File photo: Polio vaccine drops are administered to a child at a civil dispensary in Peshawar, Pakistan. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The markers are used to mark the fingers of children after administering them polio vaccine and are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government has decided to allow a one-time import of polio markers from India. 

The markers are used to mark the fingers of children after administering them polio vaccine and are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Pakistan's cabinet has also decided to reduce the prices of 89 polio-related medicines by 15 per cent. 

India and Pakistan had suspended all kinds of trade since August this year. In September, the Pak government lifted the ban on the import of medicines and raw materials from India.

Pakistan's polio eradication campaign has hit a major roadblock after an alarming spike in the number of polio cases, raising doubts over the quality of vaccination available in the country. 

Officials have blamed the so-called 'fake' finger marker for their failed attempts to stop the crippling disease and have blamed China for providing low-quality markers.

India and China are the only two WHO pre-qualified manufacturers in the world. 

In April, three polio workers were killed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region after rumoUrs on social media claimed that children were being poisoned by the vaccinations.

Pakistan is one of the only three countries in the world where polio is endemic besides Afghanistan and Nigeria.

While the vaccination drives have managed to cut the disease sharply, the latest jump in cases this year has become a cause of worry for health officials.