ISLAMABAD: Another polio case has been reported from Balochistan, taking the provincial tally of the year to 24 and the countrywide count to 82.
According to official record, 22 cases each have been reported from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 14 from Punjab.
Last year, 147 cases had been reported in the country against only 12 cases in 2018.
An official of the National Institute of Health said that the latest victim was a 10-month-old girl.
“She is a resident of District Quetta, Tehsil Chilton Town and Union Council Kharootabad-II. Her left lower limb has been paralysed and socioeconomic status of the family has been declared poor. It was a pure case of refusal as the family was against vaccination,” he said.
Parents of 10-month-old girl had refused 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, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become free of the disease.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world 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 abroad has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2020