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January 3, 2020

Another child from Gadap Town crippled by polio


January 3, 2020

A five-month-old girl, who hails from Karachi, contracted polio last month when she was in Dadu district, according to a statement issued by the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh on Thursday.

Since the date of onset is December 6, 2019, the EOC insists that the case of Fiza Chandio should be counted as the 20th case of the previous year rather than considering it the first case of 2020.

On the other hand, health officials in Dadu maintain that Fiza’s family is resident of UC-4 of Gadap Town in Karachi – an area which is dubbed as “notorious” for polio cases.

An official of the EOC Sindh says the girl’s left lower limb has been affected due to polio. Fiza is daughter of Mashooq Chandio. “Fiza spent most of her incubation period in Dadu,” says an official of the polio eradication initiative.

According to the family, he says, the child was alright on November 22, 2019 when they left for UC Patt Sharif, Taluka Dadu. “On December 5 or 6, the child developed febrile fits and after two days the family noticed sudden weakness in her left leg. The family subsequently came back to Karachi on Dec 10 after which the child was detected with polio by a community health worker on Dec 12,” the official says.

The family has a poor socioeconomic status and so far the child has had only one dose of polio vaccine, while she has not received any IPV or routine immunisation except for the BCG vaccine.

After a nationwide polio campaign in December, now the EOC Sindh will do a case-response in districts of Sindh from January 13 to 19 in a bid to curb the virus circulation.

This case-response will be conducted in over 702 union councils in Sindh and will target 5.12 million children in selected locations in over 20 districts of the province.

They have also planned campaigns to be carried out until June 2020. The total number of cases in Pakistan in 2019 now stands at 123. Before the case of Fiza, the last polio cases in Sindh were confirmed on December 27, 2019, when the EOC Sindh disclosed that a seven-year-old girl from Sukkur and 22-month-old boy from Tando Allahyar had contracted polio virus.

“An 84-month-old girl from the Union Council Rahooja, Tehsil New Sukkur of the Sukkur district, was crippled by the polio virus whose upper right and lower limbs were paralysed,” an official of the EOC said, adding that the girl had received a few doses of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) drops during the previous vaccination drives.

The 22-month-old boy from Tando Allahyyar was severely affected by the polio virus and died, the official said. “The boy from Tando Allahyar was not well for two weeks with swelling, sickness and vomiting, which are non-polio symptoms. At the end of two weeks, he had weakness in limbs and was notified as acute flaccid paralysis case but the child passed away.”

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