PESHAWAR, July 13: A new polio case has been confirmed in Peshawar by the National Institute of Health, bringing total number of cases to five in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 21 in the country in 2013.

One-year-old Uzair Mohammad, son of Dost Muhammad, a resident of Ijazabad-1, Gulbahar Number 4 in Shaheen Muslim Town-1, Peshawar, who didn’t receive any dose of the oral polio vaccine, belonged to an area where water samples had been tested positive for polio during the past two years, relevant officials said.

They said that they were planning a rapid response immunisation campaign within fortnight to prevent outbreak of diseases in Peshawar, which had been declared a polio reservoir by World Health Organisation. Children in South Asian countries, which had long been declared polio-free, risked re-infection owing to circulation of the virus in Peshawar, they added.

The officials said that they had recently formed a technical communication committee with the task to scale up public awareness about significance of the vaccines so that people could demand it for safety of their children. The committee will make interventions under the supervision of district administration to ensure that the children, who were missed owing to inaccessibility by health workers or refusals against the vaccine by their parents, can be administered the drops.

They said that polio was the only childhood disease that could be eradicated through vaccination forever because of which the government was making hectic efforts to ensure that every child was administered OPV in every campaign till he or she attained age of five years.

“Vaccination is the only option for polio eradication, therefore, we have planned to convey the message to the masses to protect the future of their children,” they said.

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