Fourth polio case confirmed in Punjab

Health officials say they are doing everything they can to eradicate polio.

Owais Jafri November 30, 2011

MULTAN: A fourth case of polio was confirmed in Bahawalpur on Wednesday.

According to health officials, Ahmedpur Sharqia, Ghalwan village resident 4-year-old Hafeez Bibi has been diagnosed with the virus.

Hafeez Bibi is the daughter of local mosque leader Jaleel Ahmed.

Ahmed told The Express Tribune that his daughter was not born with the disease and had been immunised against Polio. “Hafeez didn’t have the disease when she was born. We have been giving her polio drops as instructed. She still contracted the disease,” Ahmed said. Health Department official Dr Zakir Ali told reporters that samples had been sent to the National Health Institute and the results confirmed that Hafeez Bibi had polio. Locals in the village protested that despite efforts by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Department the number of polio cases has been increasing in the Punjab.

Bahawalpur executive district officer (EDO) Health Dr Arshad Ali Baajwa told reporters that Punjab still had the lowest number of polio cases. “We have made concentrated efforts to eradicate the disease. A team has been dispatched to determine the cause behind the disease in this case. We want to see if there are any environmental factors involved,” he said.

The EDO said that Health Department head Dr Iqbal had visited each reported victim and spoken with their families. “Health teams are also surveying the neighbouring union councils. We have cancelled the vacations of all staff members of the Expanded Programme on Immunization in Bahawalpur to ensure every child is immunised,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2011. 


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