First polio case of 2019 detected in Bajaur

Published February 3, 2019
The prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication Babar Bin Atta has also confirmed the detection of the case in the district. — File
The prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication Babar Bin Atta has also confirmed the detection of the case in the district. — File

KHAR: A new polio case emerged in Bajaur tribal district on Saturday, bringing the total number of such cases to six in the region over the last three months.

Head of the health department Dr Wazir Khan while talking to reporters confirmed the latest detection of the polio case in the region.

He said that the case, which according to him is the first case in 2019, had been reported in Inayat Kalli area of Khar tehsil where an 11-month-old child named Javid Khan was diagnosed with the virus.

To check the presence of polio various, the official said that a team of health officials had visited the said area twice and had collected stool samples from the child.

Dr Khan said the first sample from the child was collected on Jan 21 while the second was taken on Jan 22.

He said that stool samples were then sent to the National Institute of Health Islamabad which confirmed it to be a polio case on Feb 1.

To a question, the official said that the affected child had been given seven doses of anti-polio drops, recalling that he had also been administered drops in the recent vaccination drive which ended last week.

The prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication Babar Bin Atta has also confirmed the detection of the case in the district.

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Mr Atta stated that in the past three months, six cases of poliovirus had been reported from Bajaur. He expressed sorrow over the detection of the new polio case in the region and termed it negligence of the polio eradication team in the district.

According to the district health department, four polio cases were reported in November and December 2018, while one polio case was reported in Jan, 2019.

An official of the health department said that one child among the total four who had been diagnosed with poliovirus in 2018 had died.

After the frequent detection of polio cases in the district, Mr Atta had also visited Bajaur last month to review the vaccination activities in the region.

During the visit, the PM’s focal person had expressed great concern over the frequent detection of polio cases in the region and directed both the local administration and health department to speed up their anti-polio activities in the district.

He had also terminated the services of seven polio workers, four of whom were from the World Health Organisation and three were officials of the health department.

Meanwhile, a source in the district administration told Dawn on Saturday that senior officials of the administration had shown their grave concern and dismay over the detection of the new case in the region.

The source said that the polio case in the district had disappointed senior officials as the area was considered one of the safest places in the district.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2019

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