LARKANA/KARACHI: A 38-month-old girl was found infected with poliovirus in Larkana, making it the second case of the crippling disease in Sindh this year, officials of the Emergency Operation Centre in the province said on Tuesday.
Babar bin Atta, the prime minister’s focal person on polio eradication, confirmed that with the new case in Larkana, a total of 12 children had been found with polio virus so far this year in different parts of the country.
“It is highly unfortunate that a polio case has been reported from Larkana where a 38-month-old girl has become the second victim of polio in the province,” said Sindh EOC coordinator Umar Farooq said.
Tally rises to 12 in Pakistan
He said the child had been vaccinated, but she was low on immunity and malnourished.
“This is why repeated vaccination of OPV is necessary. Further investigation into the case is under way,” said the EOC official.
The total case count in Sindh this year is now two — one each from Karachi and Larkana.
Before discovery of the new case, Larkana had been a polio-free district since 2014.
A month ago a stool sample of the child residing in Latifabad village near Shehar town in Dokri taluka was sent to the National Health Institute in Islamabad which lately confirmed the test.
The girl was administered polio vaccine multiple times.
The victim had one week’s travel history to Bin Qasim before her sample was sent for diagnosis, said a health official in Larkana.
“Parents must understand that with poliovirus present in the environment, they must vaccinate every child under five years of age during every campaign to protect them against polio.
“We will implement an aggressive case response in northern Sindh to further build the immunity of children,” said the EOC official. Sindh had 30 cases of polio in 2014, and a single last year.
Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2019