ISLAMABAD: The polio count for the year 2015 in the country started on Saturday as the first polio case of the new year was confirmed by the virology laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH).
An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that although first case of 2015 had been reported, there were some pending cases from 2014 with the laboratory and they might drive the count of polio cases further upwards.
“A sample collected on Jan 3 has been confirmed and the child has been found to be suffering from polio.
“The child is a resident of Tank in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.
The official said that there were certain cases that could be confirmed within one to two weeks. However, other cases might take up to a month to confirm following the collection of necessary samples, he said.
Separately, a four-member delegation of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation led by Senior Adviser for Pakistan and Afghanistan Dr Waqar Ajmal held a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Jehangir Tareen at his residence in Islamabad on Saturday.
According to sources privy to the meeting, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Health Secretary Shahram Khan Tarakai and Education Minister Atif Khan also attended the meeting.
Also read: Lost — The battle against polio
The members of the delegation sought active involvement of PTI-led provincial government in fight against polio because last year 89 per cent of polio cases in the country were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. These constituted 82 per cent of polio cases reported from across the globe.
An official told Dawn that Mr Tareen assured the delegation of the PTI’s complete support in the fight against polio in the province.
The delegation is in the country for seven days and will hold meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI Chairman Imran Khan as well as Sindh chief minister and other senior officials.
Published in Dawn January 18th , 2015