Pakistan: Two fresh instances of wild polio have been verified in North Waziristan, paralysing a little child and a female, according to health officials.
Both children are 18 months old and belong to Mir Ali, according to them. The female child’s paralysis began on May 10, and the male child on May 11.
The Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad confirmed both cases.
This is the sixth case this year in North Waziristan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. “These children will struggle for the rest of their lives due to the agony of polio-related disability.” “I strongly advise Pakistanis to vaccinate their children,” stated Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.
Wild polio virus is most prevalent in Khyber-southern Pakhtunkhwa’s districts, which include North and South Waziristan, D.I. Khan, Bannu, Tank, and Lakki Marwat. While no human transmission has been documented outside of North Waziristan, two positive environmental samples were reported from Bannu between April and May. “All youngsters suffering from wild polio are receiving rehabilitation services, but regardless of the government’s assistance, there is no cure for polio.” “The only way to protect youngsters is to administer many doses of polio vaccination,” stated Federal Health Secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja.
All of the children who have been diagnosed with wild polio this year are from North Waziristan, where more cases are predicted due to high refusal rates and instances of finger-marking without immunisation during campaigns.
“To restrict the spread of the virus, the Pakistan Polio Programme has launched emergency campaigns in the area, while children are offered the vaccine at all entry and exit ports from southern KP,” said Dr Shahzad Baig, Coordinator, National Emergency Operations Centre. “The programme is working tirelessly to restrict the spread of wild polio, but we need the help of parents and caregivers to achieve our goal of a polio-free Pakistan.” Pakistan and Afghanistan, the world’s only two endemic countries, coordinated immunisation programmes from May 23 to May 27, vaccinating millions of youngsters on both sides of the border.
The nationwide campaign continues
Meanwhile, a nationwide vaccination effort continued to immunise approximately 43 million children under the age of five.
According to a Ministry of Health official, approximately 339,521 skilled and dedicated polio workers have been involved in the push to vaccinate children at their homes.
He stated that earlier programmes were limited to specific locations, but this campaign has been launched across the country.
After more than a year, Pakistan discovered its first polio infection on April 22. It is one of two nations, along with neighbouring Afghanistan, where polio is still widespread, despite a significant decline in case counts in recent years.