Pakistan is one of the two remaining countries in the world where poliomyelitis (polio) is still categorized as an endemic viral infection, the other being Afghanistan. As of October 2015, there have been 38 documented cases of wild polio virus in Pakistan in the past year. Though the polio immunization campaign in the country started in 1974, the efforts for eradication officially started in 1994. The infection remains endemic despite over 100 rounds of vaccination being carried out in the past decade. Pakistan had the world’s highest number of polio cases in 2014, and as of October 2015, it has maintained this record. However, the number of cases in 2015 are a fraction of those recorded in 2014. The country has announced a goal of eradication by 2016.
About half of the nearly five million refugees who have fled Syria are children. But eight million children remain in the war-torn country, according to Unicef. In eastern Aleppo, Save the Children estimates about 40% of the besieged population are children. While this means the recent casualty numbers it reported appear to be roughly proportionate with the population, it is out of step with what should be happening in a war zone. In war, you should expect to see a much higher population of adult males being killed in frontline action, Ms Anning says. “But what we have seen in Aleppo in the last couple of days is totally indiscriminate bombing from the air,” she says. “So children are impacted just as much or more than adults in those situations.” These tactics, combined with a continued siege preventing anyone from leaving the area, has created one of the worst situations for Syrian children in more than five years of war.