Polio toll at 79 after two cases emerge in KP

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PESHAWAR: The National Institute of Health (NIH) has confirmed two new polio cases in Lakki Marwat and Tank districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday, making the number of polio cases across the country reach 79.

According to the details, poliovirus has been separated from a stool sample of 14 months old boy, resident of UC Pai, Tank district, and nine months old boy resident of Bakhmal Ahmed Zai, Tehsil Sarai Norang, Lakki Marwat district.

Both children were found to be zero dose for essential immunization and their status for polio vaccination was under vaccination.

“It is a matter of serious concern that polio continues to disable our children despite the fact that government was making every effort to ensure timely administration of the anti-polio vaccine to the children at their doorsteps,” said EOC Coordinator Abdul Basit.

He said that the polio vaccine was completely safe, adding that the entire world, including Muslim countries, has eradicated polio using the same vaccine.

Abdul Basit said that parents should not pay attention to anti-polio propaganda and protect their children from permanent disability by administering anti-polio drops to their kids.

The total number of polio cases in the country touched 79 after an infant was tested positive in Lakki Marwat.

KP leads the number of polio cases with 59. Sindh followed with eight cases, where the number of cases in Balochistan was seven this year. Only five cases surfaced in Punjab, mostly in its capital Lahore.

One of the reasons is the increased resistance towards vaccination drives and violence against polio workers in the province as compared to the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, last month, had expressed serious concern over the recent spike in polio cases in the country and directed federal and provincial government officials to undertake effective awareness and immunisation campaigns to eliminate the disease.