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First polio case of year detected in Mohmand

November 28, 2012

-AP File Photo

GHALANAI: Mohmand Agency recorded the first polio case of the year as National Institute of Health Islamabad confirmed on Tuesday presence of poliomyelitis in a 14-month-old vaccinated child.Agency Surgeon Dr Farooq Shah told Dawn that Hafsa, the affected child, belonged Pandiali tehsil of the tribal region. He said that they would focus on the area from where the case was reported.

The number of polio cases in Fata reached to 20 in 2012 after Hafsa, daughter of Hameedullah, a resident of Dawazai Inzari Maingan in Pandiali tehsil, was diagnosed positive for the crippling disease.

Sources in health department said that the child was infected by P1 type of virus that originated from Afghanistan. They said that health experts were surprised to note that the children, who were administered oral polio vaccine, were being tested positive for the disease.

They said that presence of virus among the vaccinated children was cause of concern for them. Some of the children suffering from the crippling disease in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata had received several doses of the vaccine, the sources said.

“According to World Health Organisation every child needs 10 doses of the oral polio vaccine to develop immunity to cope with poliovirus,” they added.

The sources said that the vaccine remained ineffective when the recipients suffered from diarrhoea, low nutrition and low immunity or generalised weakness.

“But the problem is that vaccinators are overburdened with work. There are also not enough doctors to see if a child has any problem, which might leave the vaccine ineffective,” they said.

The agency surgeon said that in some areas people sought incentives, such as fertilisers for fields and transfer of health officials, for administering polio drops to children.

He said that he had paid all dues to the polio teams from June to September. He said if any worker didn’t get the amount he should contact the office of agency surgeon.