PESHAWAR: Ironically, as the country is set to observe the ‘World Polio Day’ today (Thursday) with the theme ‘Stop the Outbreak in Name of Our Children’, three more cases of polio were confirmed on Wednesday.
This would bring the total number of cases in the country to 49 this year.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad on Wednesday confirmed that three more children have been affected by the paralysing virus, including two from Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) and one from Sheikhupura.
A 15 months old boy from Bara tehsil, Khyber Agency and a 3 years old girl from Pai Khel tehsil, Miramshah, have been affected.
NIH report says both of the children did not receive even a single dose of polio vaccine.
In Punjab, a 12-month boy in Muridke, Sheikhupura district, was found to be carrying the virus. Only one routine dose of the vaccine had been given to him at birth.
An official of the Fata Expended Programme on Immunization (EPI) confirmed the two new polio cases. An official notification in this regard is expected to be issued after a few days.
Polio drops have not been regularly administered in the two areas where these new cases emerged. Polio teams could not reach Bara due to security problems and thousands of children have missed routine immunisation since 2009.
In North Waziristan, local warlords have imposed a ban on vaccination last year and since then, not a single campaign was allowed to be carried out.
Officials claim that the local teams have been asked to administer the polio drops when they travel out of the agency.
According to a Fata health department official, a total of 36 polio cases have been reported from the tribal areas: 15 from Khyber Agency, 15 from North Waziristan, 5 from Frontier Region (FR) Bannu and one from FR DI Khan.
Source: The Express Tribune