Balochistan reports 5th polio case, raising Pakistan’s tally to 27 this year

Parents of the two-year-old boy had avoided administering vaccine in Zhob, say health officials


Our Correspondent March 11, 2020
Parents of the two-year-old boy had avoided administering vaccine in Zhob, say health officials. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

QUETTA: A two-year-old boy was tested positive for poliovirus in Zhob region of Balochistan on Wednesday, raising the province’s tally to five and Pakistan’s to 27 this year.

According to health officials, the child had not been administered the polio vaccine and his family was also found wanting in this connection. Samples of the child were taken on February 26 and 27.

The last case was reported on March 4 in the province.

Similarly, a 7-month-old child was diagnosed with polio virus in Sibi on February 28. The family was said to have moved to Sibi from Pishin a month ago.  Samples of the child were obtained on February 7.

As per the health authorities, the family of this child too was reported to have refused the vaccine during the special anti-polio vaccination completed in January.

Another polio case emerges in Balochistan

Earlier, an 18-month-old girl was diagnosed with the crippling in Habib Zai union council of Qila Abdullah, Chaman. This child’s family was also said to have refused administering the vaccine on the child.

The health ministry officials claimed that 80 per cent of the parents in UC Habib Zai refused administering anti-polio drops to their children in the last anti-polio vaccination drive.

As per the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme’s website, the total number of polio cases reported in Pakistan this year has reached 27 – one from Punjab, eight from Sindh, 13 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and five from Balochistan.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and causes paralysis or even death.

While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased.

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