First polio case of 2018 surfaces in Balochistan

On April 10, a nationwide polio vaccination drive launched to reach 38.7 million children

Raza Rehman April 12, 2018
A boy receives polio vaccine drops, during an anti-polio campaign, in a low-income neighbourhood in Karachi, Pakistan April 9, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA: A three-year-old became the first victim of polio in Balochistan for the year 2018.

The epidemic has returned to the province and reached the Kuli area in south Quetta, in the area of Safar Ali Baloch, polio coordinator Dr Aziz confirmed.

Samples of the affected child has been sent to the laboratory for further tests, he further informed.

On April 10, a nationwide polio vaccination drive was launched to reach 38.7 million children and eradicate the paralysing and potentially deadly virus.

Nearly 260,000 volunteers and workers fanned out across the country starting on Monday in an effort to vaccinate every child below the age of five in a week-long campaign, National coordinator on polio, Mohammad Safdar, said.

Countrywide polio eradication drive launched

“We’re really very close to eradicating the disease,” Safdar told Reuters, appealing to the people to cooperate with the door-to-door effort that continues all week.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria that suffers from endemic polio, a childhood virus that can cause paralysis or death. In 2018, Pakistan has had just one polio case, reported last month, Safdar said.

The number of cases has steadily declined since 2014 when 306 were reported. Last year, there were only eight cases, he said. Efforts to eradicate the disease have been undermined by opposition from the Taliban and other militants, who say immunisation is a foreign ploy to sterilise Muslim children or a cover for Western spies.

In January, gunmen killed a mother-and-daughter vaccination team working in Balochistan, where the year’s only case so far was later reporter. Three years earlier, 15 people were killed in a bombing by the Pakistani Taliban outside a polio vaccination centre in Balochistan.


Pamela | 4 years ago | Reply Big Pharma and Bill Gates are trying to kill you all. Papua New Guinea was declared Polio Free in 2000. They started vaccinating a few months back and there are 3 cases already. Wake up people - the vaccines are giving you the disease you did not have!!!
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