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Mushtaq Yusufzai
Saturday, May 11, 2013
From Print Edition


PESHAWAR: Two new polio cases reported in a single day from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas have raised questions about the strategy for countering the refusal cases.


The first polio case was reported from a chronically refusing family in Mardan district. Official documents of the National Virology Laboratory (NVI), Islamabad revealed that a seven months old male child from Mardan was diagnosed with the crippling poliomyelitis-1 strain of the poliovirus. His father had refused to allow polio teams to vaccinate his child.


An official of the provincial Health Department, Nauman Khan, said over six polio campaigns were conducted during the last six months in Mardan but the father of the child could not be convinced to get the child vaccinated.


The official said the country reported around 70,000 refusal cases during the recently concluded polio campaign whereas almost 50 percent of the total countrywide refusals were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


Health experts believe the biggest opportunity to counter the refusal cases in the country had already been lost as a local organisation the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) developed differences with the Pakistan Polio Control Programme.


Another polio case was reported from Bara in Khyber Agency on Thursday, where an 11 months old child identified as Fawad was diagnosed with the disease.With the two new polio cases, the number of the affected children reached nine during the current year.


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is leading in the numbers, with four polio cases so far, followed by Fata having two cases whereas Punjab and Sindh have reported one case each.