–Infants detected with crippling disease belong to Karachi, North Waziristan
KARACHI/PESHAWAR: Two more polio cases were surfaced in Karachi and North Waziristan, taking the total number up to 62 this year across the country.
An eight-month-old girl was diagnosed with poliovirus in Karachi’s Orangi Town, whereas an infant was infected by the paralysing virus in Ladha tehsil of North Waziristan.
Sources said that the parents of both children had rejected polio vaccinates.
It is pertinent to mention here that 46 cases have been reported so far from KP, including 11 from tribal districts, six from Sindh, five each from Balochistan and Punjab in 2019.
On Sept 4, two cases of polio surfaced in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In Balochistan, a 17-month-old was diagnosed with the virus by the provincial health department.
In another instance, a girl in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also tested positive for poliovirus.
Along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, Pakistan is one of the only three countries where complete polio eradication has not yet been achieved. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), polio has been all but wiped out across the world.
Earlier in July, five new cases of the poliovirus were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well. Three cases of polio were reported in Bannu and two cases were reported in Torghar.
A three-day anti-polio campaign kicked off in 29 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in August in an attempt to eradicate the virus. According to the provincial health department, more than four million children below the age of five would be given anti-polio drops during the campaign.
Prime Minister Imran Khan last month chaired a high-level meeting on the rise in polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Pakistan. On the occasion, he had stated that eradication of polio is the top-most priority of the government.
Expressing serious concern over the recent spike in polio cases, the PM had directed officials concerned in the federal as well as provincial governments to undertake effective awareness and immunization campaigns to check the incidence of polio.