ISLAMABAD: The number of polio cases has reached 64 in the country this year, as another two cases were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
A 30-month-old girl and a 23-month-old boy have become new victims of the poliovirus. It was revealed that their parents were against the vaccination and dodged polio teams.
With these two additions the total number of polio cases in KP has reached 48 this year.
An official of Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH), requesting anonymity, said that the latest cases were reported from districts Lakki Marwat and Torghar.
“The girl, who is paralysed, hails from Nali Chak, UC Mamakhel, tehsil Serai Naurang, district Lakki Marwat. Date of the onset was Aug 24; however, as incubation time of the virus is around three weeks so finally it is confirmed that the child was paralysed due to poliovirus,” he said.
Total number reaches 48 in KP and 64 countrywide this year
“The male child is a resident of UC Shattal, tehsil Judba, district Torghar. Date of notification of virus was Aug 21 and the sample was sent to lab on Aug 26,” he said.
Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Babar Bin Atta told Dawn that in both cases the parents avoided polio vaccination.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or even death.
While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease.
Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, his/her protection against the virus increases.
Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio free.
There are only two countries in the world, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio cases are being reported.
Pakistan remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the World Health Organisation due to which, since 2014, every person travelling aboard has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019