The four new cases have been detected in Pishin and Qila Abdullah districts.—AP photo

QUETTA: Expressing deep concern over the high number of polio cases detected this year in Balochistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has sent a letter to its chief secretary and asked him to improve the provincial government’s performance in future immunisation campaigns.

Unicef recently reported that 22 polio cases had been detected in the province this year. However, detection of four new cases has taken the total number of such cases to 26, according to sources.

The sources said the four new cases had been detected in Pishin and Qila Abdullah districts. “We cannot rule out detection of more cases in these districts because the people there, particularly the religious ones among them, have generally not been allowing us to administer polio drops to their children,” an official engaged in the National Emergency Plan told Dawn.

“This year, 10 children from the district have been found to have been infected with polio virus. Seven such cases were discovered in Pishin district.”

Another official said that in his letter Prime Minister Gilani asked Chief Secretary Mir Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri to remove impediments in the smooth launching of immunisation campaigns in the province.