Two polio cases confirmed in Karachi, South Waziristan
Cases of the crippling disease have steadily increased in the country as two new polio cases from Karachi and North Waziristan were confirmed on Sunday.
According to officials, both cases were children from families that had refused vaccination.
In Karachi, an 8-month-old baby girl from an Afghan refugee family was found to be a carrier of the virus. The case was confirmed in the city’s Orangi Town area.
The other new case is a 10-year-old boy reported in Ladha, South Waziristan. The boy’s family had also previously lived in Dera Ismail Khan.
“Pakistan is fighting a deadly & crippling virus plus the enemies of our future generations who spread misconceptions & propaganda against the vaccine and our valiant polio workers. InshaAllah starting November, onwards we will show massive improvements on Polio Front, polio programme head Babar Atta tweeted on Sunday sharing screen grabs of news from a private TV channel.
The total number of polio cases in Pakistan this year now stands at 62, of which 46 have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Polio campaign officials have repeatedly requested all parents to not pay any heed to the continuing false and negative propaganda against the polio vaccine.
“Refusal and fake marking of children are the major reasons for the increasing number of cases reported in Pakistan. Vaccination is essential for us to safeguard the future of our children and every Pakistani has to play their part in this mission,” read a statement issued on the latest polio immunisation campaign.
Pakistan is one of just three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, that have endemic polio, a once-common childhood virus that can cause paralysis or death.
The country’s success follows an intense programme based around vaccinating vulnerable children.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), polio has been all but wiped out across the world following a sustained vaccination campaign, with only 22 cases reported in 2017 against more than 350,000 in 1988.