QUETTA / ISLAMABAD: A polio case was reported from Dukki district of Balochistan on Thursday — the first to have surfaced in the country during the current year.

According to sources in the provincial health department, a three-year-old boy has been diagnosed with the poliovirus.

They said blood samples of Safar Baloch, son of Syed Akram, were sent for a laboratory test after he had fallen ill. The result showed positive, confirming the boy is suffering from the crippling disease, they added.

It is yet to be ascertained if the boy was ever administered polio vaccine drops.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where the poliovirus still exists.

Eight polio cases were reported in Pakistan last year, only one of them was from Balochistan.

Meanwhile, the new representative of Unicef in Pakistan, Aida Girma-Melaku, praised the government-led polio eradication initiative for coming close to a polio-free Pakistan.

During a meeting with Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Thursday, Ms Girma-Melaku noted with satisfaction the tireless efforts of hundreds of thousands of frontline polio workers.

The Unicef’s new representative presented her credentials to the foreign minister after assuming the charge of the UN agency’s multi-sectoral operation in education, health, nutrition, child protection, water and sanitation, as well as polio eradication.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 13th, 2018