The Polio Eradication Initiative in Pakistan Monday reported the first polio case of the current year in Karachi, saying a five-year old boy has been crippled by Wild Polio Virus 1 in Muzaffarabad...
The Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) in Pakistan Monday reported the first polio case of the current year in Karachi, saying a five-year old boy has been crippled by Wild Polio Virus 1 (WPV1) in Muzaffarabad Colony, Landhi, in District Malir.
With the new polio case, the number of polio cases in Sindh has jumped to 19 and 57 in Pakistan. “Five-year-old Muhammad Hasnain, son of Muhammad Ibrahim, a resident of Muzaffarabad Colony, Landhi, in District Malir, has been crippled by Wild Polio Virus 1 (WPV1). It is the first polio case in Karachi and now the number of polio cases has reached 19 in Sindh and 57 in entire Pakistan,” an official of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Sindh said on Monday.
EOC officials said the 60-months male child in Karachi was diagnosed with the polio virus after his stool samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) following developing weakness in his left upper and lower limb.
According to the parents, the EOC officials said, the child had received Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) on multiple occasions while the routine immunisation card shows zero doses of OPV while he had an injectable polio vaccine. Further investigation on the claims was underway, they added.
Officials at the EOC said Sindh had back-to-back successful campaigns from December 2019 to March 2020, which had gone a long way in putting the polio programme on track. However, the global polio eradication initiative had to be halted since the outbreak of COVID-19 and no campaigns could be conducted since, they said.
“As we move forward, the EOC is planning a small- scale campaign in Karachi in July followed by a wide-scale campaign in the province in August to protect children from polio. The details of for the upcoming campaigns are under discussion and information will be provided once the decisions are finalised,” the spokesman for the EOC said.
The spokesman maintained that at a time when the nation was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Pakistan should also deal with childhood immunisation, adding that children must be vaccinated against all vaccine-preventable diseases. “Children can be saved from childhood diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek the media’s help to raise awareness regarding this once we have the plan to resume campaigns,” the EOC official added.