18-month-old infected with poliovirus in Bahawalnagar

Updated 01 Oct 2020

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An 18-month-old child has been diagnosed with polio in Haroonabad. — AP/File
An 18-month-old child has been diagnosed with polio in Haroonabad. — AP/File

BAHAWALNAGAR: An 18-month-old child has been diagnosed with polio in Haroonabad here on Wednesday.

Ali Waris is a resident of Tibba Nolla Molla village of Haroonabad. His family says the left leg of the child has been affected with poliovirus.

Bahawalnagar Health Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Waheed Afsar Bajwa confirmed that the child had been affected with poliovirus and said Waris was tested twice and both results came back positive.

Bajwa claimed that Waris contracted the virus when his parents visited and stayed in Faisalabad. He, however, said the child was undergoing treatment.

By Sept 26, Punjab had reported 10 cases of poliovirus this year.

Meanwhile, the district has fallen behind in terms of performance of its health department and according to last month’s roadmap it ranked at the last spot in the province.

As per a report of the primary and secondary healthcare department, a copy of which is available with Dawn, last month the district ranked 36th – the last – in terms of Expanded Programme on Immunisation, polio, Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child Health (IRMNCH) and basic health services in the province. It added that the basic health units were short of staff and emergency medicine and the system for cleanliness was in poor shape.

The performance of the polio vaccine programme was also disappointing and in the IRMNCH, the district ranked at the last spot. The report also stated that Bahawalnagar was facing food shortage and the nutrition officers were performing general duties instead of the ones assigned to them in their union councils.

The report said the poor performance of the District Health Authority was a cause for concern and immediate steps were needed to improve it.

Health CEO Dr Bajwa held his predecessor Dr Shahid Saleem responsible for the poor results. He said he had assumed charge on Sept 1, adding that the shortage of staff was also affecting the overall performance of the health department in the district. He said he was trying to improve the situation and make the district one of the top in the province.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2020