ISLAMABAD/QUETTA: Two more polio cases — one in Balochistan and another in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — were reported on Tuesday, taking the number of such cases detected so far this year to 34.
During the first nine months of last year 214 cases were reported.
An official at the National Institute of Health said that a one-year-old girl in Peshawar and a three-year-old boy in Quetta had onset of paralysis.
“So far this year as many as 14 cases have been reported in KP, 10 in Fata, six in Balochistan and four in Sindh. No polio case has been found in Punjab,” he said.
The head of National Emergency Operation Cell on Polio, Dr Rana Safdar, said the boy in Quetta had received seven doses of polio vaccine and the girl in Peshawar five doses.
“It shows that children in the country are being vaccinated but it appears that because of malnutrition both the children had less immunity and their bodies could not resist the virus despite having been vaccinated,” he said.
He said similar cases had been reported in Bangladesh as children having been vaccinated 10 times were also affected by poliovirus.
Officials at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in Balochistan identified the boy affected by poliovirus as Naqeebullah, son of Haji Sattar, a resident of Killi Barakzai in Eastern Bypass, Quetta.
It was the fourth polio case in Quetta and sixth in Balochistan this year — one each in Loralai and Killa Abdullah and four in Quetta.
A three-day anti-polio drive was launched in the province in the middle of this month while the next campaign will start in mid-Oct.
“The coverage has been improved in the last campaign and we are trying to improve the situation,” a spokesperson for the EOC said.
Published in Dawn, September 30th , 2015