Polio threat looms large in Karachi as another child falls prey to the virus

By APP
Published: October 6, 2019
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Another case of polio was reported in Karachi on Saturday, raising the total number of the crippling disease cases to four in the city, and to eight in Sindh, during 2019.

A 17-month-old girl from Orangi Town was confirmed to have contracted polio on Saturday, only a few months after another girl child from the same locality tested positive for the disease.

According to a Sindh Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio representative, the girl had developed a fever and mild weakness in the right leg. When taken to a healthcare facility, doctors classified her case as acute flaccid paralysis, following which she tested positive for polio, the representative said.

Sindh EOC for Polio officials further revealed that as per the girl’s Expanded Programme for Immunisation card, she has only been given BCG vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis, as part of the routine immunisation. They said that is was still being investigated that how many doses of polio vaccines were administered to her, if any.

She was confirmed to have contracted polio on Saturday.

This year, in Sindh, two cases of polio have been reported from Hyderabad, one each from Jamshoro and Larkana and four from Karachi, so far. In Pakistan, however, the most numbers of polio cases during 2019 have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, adding up to 53. Following it, eight have been reported in Sindh, six in Balochistan and five in Punjab.

Sindh EOC for Polio officials have announced that they would initiate campaigns for polio prevention and eradication from November 2019 to June 2020. EOC and medical associations, such as the Pakistan Paediatric Association, have also appealed to the parents to cooperate with polio teams in administering polio drops to children.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2019.

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