4 more polio cases found in KP and Balochistan


-Cases surface in KP’s Bannu and Balochistan’s Killa Abdullah, Jaffarabad; taking total polio cases to 41 this year

PESHAWAR/QUETTA: National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication on Monday said that four polio cases based on parental refusals have been reported from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

According to an official of National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, the new cases confirmed by the Polio Virology Laboratory had been found in District Jaffarabad and Killa Abdullah in Balochistan and district Bannu in KP.

He said that new cases from Jaffarabad and Killa Abdullah in Balochistan and two cases in Bannu in KP bringing the total number of cases in the country to 41, including a total of 33 polio cases reported in KP, three cases from Punjab, three cases from Sindh and two cases from Balochistan.

He said that the victims were thirty months old boy and 12 months old girl from district Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and eight months old boy from district Jaffarabad and nine months old boy from District Killa Abdullah in Balochistan. “In all four fresh reported polio cases, parental refusal is found to be common among the polio victims,” he added.

He said that the identification of new cases is yet another reminder that as long as the polio virus exists anywhere in the country, no child is safe from being infected.

“Fortunately, children who are vaccinated against polio multiple times are able to fight the virus back. The more doses of the polio vaccine a child receives, the higher the chances of escaping lifelong paralysis,” he added.

However, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta said that at present, there are 32 polio cases in Pakistan.

“The next door-to-door polio vaccination campaign in selected districts will be in the month of July and August. He appealed to parents, religious leaders, and other stakeholders to convince people to vaccinate their children so that the virus has nowhere to go,” he said.

He said that polio is a highly infectious disease caused by the polio virus mainly affecting children under the age of five and it invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.

“While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased,” he added.

“In 90 per cent of polio cases, it was revealed that the affected children were said to be vaccinated, however, when the result of blood tests ascertained that the kids were not vaccinated,” Atta said.

The spokesperson called for more awareness among people about the crippling disease and its prevention.

Speaking about the propaganda against the drive, he said about 500 to 700 Facebook pages have been blocked which were propagating negative content regarding the anti-polio vaccination.

He said that repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.

The four-day anti-polio campaign will again kick-off in eleven districts of KP from July 15. The drive will cover areas of Swabi, Swat, Buner, Shangla, Tor Ghar, Lower and Upper Kohistan, Kolai-Palas, Battagram, Mansehra and Haripur districts.

The campaign is being kept specific to the districts where fresh cases of polio have recently been reported.