Vaccine refusal: another polio case surfaces in Quetta

Published December 3, 2015
The fresh case is the fifth in provincial capital Quetta and seventh in Balochistan. ─AFP/File
The fresh case is the fifth in provincial capital Quetta and seventh in Balochistan. ─AFP/File

QUETTA: A fresh case of the crippling polio disease was confirmed in Quetta Thursday, with health officials claiming the victim's father had refused to get his child vaccinated during anti-polio campaigns.

Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, Coordinator Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Balochistan, confirmed that two-year-old Rab Nawaz Noorzai, resident of Noorzai Colony in Quetta’s Eastern Bypass area, tested positive for the virus.

“The child was never vaccinated since his father had refused the drops.” Officials say the father used to hide the child when vaccination teams visited their house.

“The negligence of parents led to the child being paralysed for life,” Rehman said.

“We have been successful in bringing down the number of refusals and the situation has significantly improved compared to the previous year,” he added.

Related: Govt claims 91pc drop in polio refusal cases in Balochistan

The latest polio case is the fifth in the provincial capital and the seventh in the province this year.

This is also the second case in which, according to health officials, discovery of the virus in a victim was confirmed after parents' refusal to administer the polio vaccine to their child.

The first case of a child testing positive after their parents' rejection of the vaccine was five-year-old Shadizai – also from Quetta.

Provincial health officials say at least 4,443 cases of vaccination refusal were recorded in Balochistan's Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah districts this year.

The EOC Balochistan recently said refusals had declined over 91 per cent in the province during the recent anti-polio campaign after the health department formed committees to convince parents.

An EOC official claimed parents of 12,607 children below the age of five years were convinced by polio volunteers, religious scholars and officials to administer polio drops to these kids.

Also Read: Balochistan govt to make refusal against polio vaccine 'a crime'

42nd polio case in Pakistan this year

With this fresh case, the nationwide count of victims in 2015 has reached 42, which is a significant improvement compared to last year. In 2014, 224 new cases of polio were recorded.

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