ISLAMABAD: Just a day before the beginning of the latest round of nationwide polio campaign, another case of the crippling disease was reported from Balochistan on Sunday.
According to an official of the National Institute of Health, the latest victim is a seven-month-old boy, a resident of Ahmed Khanzai B union council, tehsil Chiltan, Quetta district.
“The child’s right lower limb has been paralysed and socio-economic status of the family has been declared poor,” he said.
As many as 73 polio cases have been reported in the country so far this year as compared to 147 cases in 2019 and 12 in 2018.
Provincial data for the current year shows that 22 cases each have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, 20 from Balochistan and nine from Punjab.
Meanwhile, the manager of the National Emergency Operation Centre on Polio, Dr Rana Safdar, said the national polio campaign would start on Monday (today). “As many as 270,000 workers have been deputed to vaccinate around 40 million children up to five years of age,” he said.
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. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, 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 still being reported.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2020