Two poliovirus cases in south Punjab ring alarm bells

Updated 02 Sep 2020

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Officials claimed that the detection of poliovirus in the right leg of a 13-year-old boy did not amount to their failure but needed a thorough probe. — AFP/File
Officials claimed that the detection of poliovirus in the right leg of a 13-year-old boy did not amount to their failure but needed a thorough probe. — AFP/File

BAHAWALPUR: Health department officials claim to have detected two poliovirus cases — one each in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The officials during the previous months had been claiming that Bahawalpur was a polio-free district, but with the abrupt surfacing of a polio case in a village of Ahmedpur East tehsil on Monday night, the officials expressed surprise, saying the detection of the case came as an utter disappointment for them as they had been regularly launching anti-polio campaigns in the previous years.

At the same time, the officials claimed that the detection of poliovirus in the right leg of a 13-year-old boy did not amount to their failure but needed a thorough probe, as under the WHO’s instructions, each child under five years of age was administered polio vaccine regularly here.

On receiving information, Health Director Dr Tanveer Hussain Shah on Tuesday undertook a surprise visit to victim Muhammad Ayub’s house at Basti Jumman Shah village. He said he would order an inquiry into the detection of a polio case.

District Preventive Coordinator Dr Zakir Hussain giving details of the case said the boy had temperature on Aug 17 and he visited a quack’s clinic in the area. The quack provided medicine to him but he did not feel any relief. Later, Ayub sought medical assistance from a private clinic of a doctor who allegedly injected the boy after which he suffered the attack of paralysis in his right leg.

Ayub’s parents later took him to the THQ Hospital of Ahmedpur East where doctors referred him to the Bahawal Victoria Hospital and the doctors detected poliovirus. His samples were sent to the NHI, Islamabad, which confirmed poliovirus.

DERA GHAZI KHAN: An infant who had recently died at the teaching hospital of the Ghazi Khan Medical College was suffering from lungs disease as well as poliovirus, say health authorities.

Officials told Dawn that eight-month-old Imran, son of Hashim, was admitted to the hospital for treatment of lungs problem.

Health CEO Dr Khalil Sikhani said the child was also suffering from polio.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2020