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Polio virus found in Gadap sewage


Polio drops being administered to a child in Karachi. – File photo by APP
Polio drops being administered to a child in Karachi. – File photo by APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 5: The World Health Organisation said on Sunday that polio virus had been found in sewage water samples collected from Gadap town, Karachi.

The WHO said in a press release that a lot of efforts had been made in Gadap town over the past six months to reach every child during every anti-polio campaign.

However, it said, all children could not be reached in the town because of poor security situation and attacks on polio vaccination teams during the last campaign in July.

Sewage samples from Baldia town of Karachi also confirmed presence of polio virus for the first time after 12 samples showed absence of virus earlier this year.

Sewage samples from Sukkur, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore have also shown presence of polio virus.

Pakistan has reported a total of 27 polio cases this year, including 13 from Fata, six from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three each from Sindh and Punjab and two from Balochistan. The cases were reported from 15 districts in the country.

Pakistan’s Augmented National Emergency Action Plan aims to interrupt polio virus circulation in the country by the end of this year, but it faces problems. Recently, campaigns were banned in North and South Waziristan, depriving more than 200,000 children of anti-polio drops.

This is in addition to Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency which has been inaccessible for vaccination teams since September 2009. Ten of the 13 polio cases in Fata this year have been reported from Bara.