KARACHI/QUETTA: Two more cases of polio have been reported in the country — one in Sindh and the other in Balochistan — taking the total number of such cases this year to 72.
The emergency operation centre for polio in Sindh on Saturday confirmed that a polio case had been reported from the Orangi neighbourhood of the teeming metropolis.
They said a 17-month-old girl had become the fourth polio victim in Karachi this year.
The remaining four victims in the province included two from Hyderabad and one each from Jamshoro and Larkana districts. Sindh had recorded only one case last year, officials said.
“Countrywide, 72 polio cases have been reported this year, out of which 53 cases are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eight from Sindh, six from Balochistan and five from Punjab,” said an official.
The child in the city’s western Orangi neighbourhood, said an official, “developed a fever and slight weakness in the right leg upon which she was taken to doctors where the case was classified as AFP (acute flaccid paralysis) following which she was tested for polio. However, her right limb senses remain intact with 4/5 power”.
The EOC officials confirmed the child had only received the BCG vaccine in routine immunisation and it was being investigated how many campaign doses of OPV were administered.
They said they had planned “aggressive campaigns” from next month to June 2020, “aiming to eradicate polio from the environment”.
The EOC and medical bodies such as the Pakistan Paediatric Association strongly recommended parents to cooperate with polio teams.
Another case of polio has been reported from Jaffarabad district of Balochistan, taking the total number of such cases in the province to six.
The officials of Balochistan Health Department said that a 15-month-old boy from Jaffarabad had been paralysed due to the virus.
According to the child’s parents, the baby was feeling fine until Sept 15 when he suffered high fever
and in the next 24 hours they noticed weakness in both his legs that led to paralysis.
So far, six cases have been reported from Balochistan province, including three from Qila Abdullah, one from Quetta and one from Jaffarabad.
In total, 70 cases of polio have been detected across the country so far this year.
The provincial emergency polio centre had initiated a special vaccination campaign in light of the recent rise of cases.
According to officials, special measures are being taken in more sensitive areas, such as Quetta, Pishin and Qila Abdullah.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2019