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Two kids catch poliovirus in Lahore, Jhelum

By Amer Malik
July 16, 2019

LAHORE: Two children aged 9 and 44 months respectively have caught the virus in Lahore and Jhelum.

The child diagnosed with polio in Lahore has escaped paralysis despite being affected by the virus, in-charge Punjab polio programme has disclosed.

Giving details of the case, head of the polio programme in Punjab Salman Ghani said investigation into the polio case has revealed that Lahore child escaped polio virus attack because parents never refused polio vaccination to their child.

“It is heartening to note that Lahore child had received seven dozes of oral polio vaccine during campaigns and three dozes during routine immunisation from a health facility,” disclosed Salman addressing a meeting with polio eradication partners in the Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication on Monday.

“The vaccination has helped the child recover after the virus attack and now the child is totally alright,” he said.

About the second child from Jhelum, Salman added that the child also received complete oral polio vaccine dozes in polio campaigns and during routine immunisation. However due to continuous circulation, virus was found in stools of both the children.

“Polio programme is well aware of the persistent risk to children posed by polio virus circulation in Lahore, Rawalpindi as well as South Punjab. It is making hectic efforts to stop the circulation”, said Salman.

“The percentage of parents who refuse polio vaccine due to various misconceptions is negligible in Punjab. However, children recorded as unavailable in polio eradication drives remain a concern and are more susceptible to the virus. The situation in Lahore is of particular concern but the vaccination teams are going all the distance to reach every child with oral polio vaccine,” said. Salman, adding, “The provincial government is fully committed to the task and is in the process of putting in mechanisms to reach all the missed children and children on the move.”

“A special campaign will be held in these districts from July 22-25 to eradicate the virus,” added Salman added.

“More children have been reached with polio vaccine than ever before, which was made possible only with the engagement of leadership of all levels of government, media and civil society”, said the head of the provincial polio programme.

Salman assured parents that polio vaccine was safe, efficacious, and approved by the government’s drug regulatory authorities. He emphasised the need for all children to be immunised during every round of immunisation campaign days. “This Lahore child has escaped paralysis and this serves as a case study in this regard,” added Salman.