Multan declared 'high risk' for polio

Samples of sewerage water was found to contain traces of polio virus.


Owais Jaffery January 28, 2012

MULTAN: After 27 samples from sewerage water were found to contain traces of the polio virus, Multan has been declared a 'high polio risk’, the district’s EDO health said on Saturday.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the executive district officer for health, Mukhtar Hussain Shah confirmed that samples collected in and around Multan carried traces of the polio virus. Hence, Multan had been declared high risk by the Punjab government.

Health officials had taken samples from Suraj Miani, Ali Town, Kot Abdali and Fatah Pur areas of Multan. Of the 54 samples sent to the laboratory, 27 were confirmed to contain traces of the polio virus.

Earlier last year polio samples from sewerage water from more than 10 districts of Punjab were found to have traces of polio. All concerned district health officials had been subsequently tasked to monitor levels.

Five polio cases had been reported from in Multan in 2009. Since then, no trace of the polio virus had been found in the city. According to Shah, Punjab’s Secretary Health had given special instructions subordinates to focus on the eradication of polio in Punjab. Punjab’s Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif has voiced his intention to have Punjab polio free by the end of 2012.

A polio vaccination campaign in Multan has been scheduled from January 30 to February 1.

Multan EDO Health further said that they aimed to vaccinate 0.7 million children over the three day campaign. He said that teams had been dispatched according to plan.

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