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January 30, 2020

Tragedy continues to befall children: Polio cripples another child in Sindh

National

January 30, 2020

KARACHI: One more child has fallen victim to poliovirus in Sindh, taking the number of those crippled for life across the country by the dreaded disease across the country, poking holes into the efficacy of the govt backed the anti-polio campaign.

This was confirmed by Polio Eradication Initiative confirmed on Wednesday who announced that one more child was crippled by the Wild Polio Virus 1 in Ratodero area of Larkana, saying as the date of onset was in December 2019, it would be considered as a polio case of 2019. “A 26-month old male child from the Union Council Jumo Agham, Taluka Ratodero, Larkana has been crippled by the Wild Polio Virus 1 (WPV1),” an official of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Polio in Sindh said. With this new case the number of polio cases, in 2019 in Sindh reached 28 and 140 in the country, the EOC Sindh official said who added that only two children have were crippled by the Wild Polio Virus 1 in 2020 in Sindh.

The EOC Sindh official maintained that in the case of the latest polio case from Ratodero area of Larkana where 26-month-old male child, Waqar son of Wahid Bux Brohi was crippled by polio, the date of onset for the case is 24/12/2019 so it would be considered as a case of 2019. “Investigations into her vaccination history are ongoing, however, only three polio doses could be verified by EPI card. He is experiencing weakness in her right arm and leg,” the official added.

The long gap in the door to door campaigns during 2019 has clearly affected the immunity of children creating a large pool of vulnerable children and the fight to build their immunity and to reverse this trend is ongoing.

The first step was the successful Dec NID which was followed by a successful case response in Hyderabad, MPK, SBA, Sukkur and Larkana divisions in January during which 6 million children were given OPV. This would be followed with another national campaign in February and yet another in April. These campaigns and their success is extremely important to reduce the number of polio cases and remove the virus from the environment.

The current risk to our children is very real and while it is our job to deliver these vaccines at the doorstep, caregivers must also step up and protect the children through vaccinations.

The National EOC and Sindh EOC asked the parents to ensure the immunization of their children during both routine as well as the special campaigns in the next few months. The total case count for 2019 now stands at 140 for all of Pakistan and 28 for Sindh while the total case count for 2020 stands at 6 in Pakistan out of which 2 are from Sindh.