Pakistan’s first polio case in 15 months reported from North Waziristan – Pakistan

A 15-month-old boy from North Waziristan was left paralysed by wild poliovirus within the first such case reported in Pakistan in over a yr, it emerged on Friday.

According to a press release issued by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), it’s also the third case of untamed poliovirus to be recorded globally up to now this yr.

The wild poliovirus sort 1 (WPV1) was confirmed in a toddler from North Waziristan on April 22 by the polio laboratory on the National Institute of Health, Islamabad with the onset of paralysis on April 9, the assertion mentioned.

“The polio laboratory also confirmed [the] detection of a positive environmental sample collected on April 5 from Bannu district of the same province. Both these viruses are closely related to each other,” it mentioned.

On January 27, Pakistan had accomplished one yr with out detection of a polio case. The solely case in 2021 was reported from Balochistan whereas all different federating and administrative models remained polio free.

“This is, of course, a tragedy for the child and his family and is also very unfortunate both for Pakistan and polio eradication efforts all over the world. We are disappointed but not deterred,” mentioned National Health Services Secretary Aamir Ashraf.

He mentioned that the case had appeared in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the place the poliovirus was detected within the surroundings late final yr and the place an emergency motion plan was already being applied.

“The nationwide and provincial polio emergency operation centres have deployed groups to conduct a full investigation of the current case, whereas emergency immunisation campaigns are underway to stop additional unfold of the wild poliovirus in Pakistan,” he added.

The NEOC handout added that southern KP had been recognized by the polio programme as the realm most in danger after wild poliovirus was detected in environmental samples within the final quarter of 2021.

Positive environmental samples of untamed poliovirus had been present in Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu divisions, it added.

“This validates the programme’s issues about virus circulation in southern KP and strengthens our resolve to achieve each little one with the polio vaccine,” mentioned NEOC Coordinator Dr Shahzad Baig.

Baig mentioned that to be able to deal with the challenges in southern KP, the federal government and international polio companions had already initiated an emergency motion plan.

The assertion mentioned that wild poliovirus sorts 2 and three have been eradicated globally, whereas WPV1 circumstances are at a historic low. “Two other WPV1 cases have been reported this year, one each in Afghanistan and Malawi,” the assertion added.

Health minister requires concerted efforts to eradicate polio

Meanwhile, newly appointed Minister for National Health Services Abdul Qadir Patel known as on the authorities involved to focus their efforts on assembly the final remaining challenges in eradicating polio.

The minister issued the directives whereas addressing a gathering attended by Ashraf, Baig, Director General Health Dr Rana Safdar and the heads of worldwide companion companies.

“Even a single case of polio in the country should be taken seriously and no effort should be spared to ensure complete eradication of the disease,” Patel mentioned.

The minister additionally appreciated the general efficiency of the polio programme in addition to the function performed by frontline employees.

Additional enter by Naveed Siddiqui

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