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Polio case detected

March 13, 2017


GILGIT: A fresh case of polio disease was reported on Saturday in Diamer district of Gilgit- Baltistan after a gap of six years.

According to GB health department officials, the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, confirmed poliovirus in 14-month-old Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Thore valley of district Diamer.

GB had been declared free of polio virus in 2012.

An official of the GB health department told Dawn that the child was admitted to a government hospital after being inflicted by poliovirus at his home.

Later, the boy’s sample was sent to NIH, Islamabad, for confirmation of the virus.

The NIH confirmed on Saturday detection of poliovirus, after four months.

After the detection poliovirus, the GB health department, through a text message, asked health officials and medical doctors in districts of Gilgit and Diamer to launch an emergency anti-polio campaign from March 16 to 19.

For this campaign, a workshop for health supervisors had been organised in Gilgit on March 14.

According to a GB health department official, the World Health Organisation officials in Pakistan had expressed dissatisfaction over emergence of poliovirus in GB despite spending billions of rupees in the region for eradication of the crippling disease.

The official said WHO had constituted a team which would visit GB to investigate how the negligence had been committed despite providing technical assistance to GB health department for eradicating the disease.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2017