"The situation is primarily due to a lack of access to children for vaccination,  largely owing to a continuing ban on immunisation imposed by militants in the North and South Waziristan, and insecurity and killing of polio workers in the field," said a progress report released on Thursday.

"Issues involving children's access to immunisation and safety of vaccinators must be  resolved to ensure that the programme can be completed," said the report, Dawn online reported.

Eight new polio cases have surfaced in Pakistan, taking the number of those affected by the crippling disease this year to 202, surpassing the previous high of 199 cases recorded in 2000, officials said.

The galloping poliovirus seems out of control and efforts to clamp down on the disease have miserably failed so far.

The record of the maximum cases a year was broken last night when a five-day national campaign to immunize 34.1 million children was completed, showing complete inadequacy of official efforts.

The eight new cases were confirmed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) here.

A health official from said that out of eight new cases, six are from tribal areas and adjacent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, and one each from Karachi and Quetta.

So far 135 cases have been recorded from tribal areas, 40 from Khyber-Pakhyunkhwa province, 19 from Sindh, including 16 from its capital Karachi, six from Balochistan and two from the largest province of Punjab.

The only areas so far immune from the crippling disease this year are Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Security is the main reason for spread of polio as vaccination cannot be organized in tribal areas where Taliban still control large areas.

They consider polio medicine as a conspiracy by the West to sterile Muslims. Same is the case with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa which is dominated by Pashtuns.

Its capital Peshawar is considered as hub of poliovirus.

Even in Karachi most of the cases have been reported from areas where Pashtuns are living. They have migrated from tribal areas to the mega city.

Pakistan is the only country with Afghanistan and Nigeria where polio is still endemic and the World Health Organization in May imposed travel restriction on Pakistan.

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