ISLAMABAD: Just a month after the detection of polio case in Karachi, another case of poliovirus was confirmed in the samples drawn from a child residing in the same area of Sindh’s capital on Saturday.

With the latest detection, this year’s tally has risen to five.

The victim is a 31-month-old child who belongs to Gujro union council area where a 24-month-old child had been diagnosed with the virus last month. Besides Karachi, all three cases were reported from Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In 2022, a total of 20 cases were reported — all from three districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — in the country, while a year earlier just one case of the crippling but preventable disease had been detected in the province of Balochistan.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) Sajid Shah said it was unfortunate that another child was paralysed by a preventable disease. “All children have a right to live a life free from the threat of poliovirus. I am devastated that this child will now suffer from a preventable disease,” he said.

“Parents must understand the huge risk polio poses to their children’s well-being and ensure that they receive multiple doses of the oral polio vaccine and are up to date on their routine immunisations,” he said.

Mr Shah said religious leaders would be taken onboard to convince parents that they would ensure that their children would be vaccinated during every campaign.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2023

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