Step back: Country’s 28th polio case surfaces in Karachi

This case is the first to be detected in the province this year.

Our Correspondent/APP March 14, 2014
Two-year-old Muslifa, daughter of Muhammad Sarwar Noorzai, is a resident of Ittehad Town in Baldia. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE


A polio case was confirmed in Karachi on Friday making it the first in the province this year and the 28th in the country since January.

Two-year-old Muslifa, daughter of Muhammad Sarwar Noorzai, is a resident of Ittehad Town in Baldia. According to officials, Muslifa was never administered polio drops.

"The area from where the first case of Sindh is detected is already in one of the most sensitive areas of the city," said health department's additional secretary, Dr Masood Solangi.

According to officials, such cases are reported from families who usually deny polio drops.

The department has, however, yet to confirm if the Noorzai family recently migrated to the city or has been living in the neighbourhood since Muslifa was born. It confirmed the case on Thursday night and said details will be shared next week, when they will reveal which part of the body has been paralysed.

The officials said that the new case confirms that the virus still exists in most sensitive areas, adding that it is a challenge for health authorities to ensure polio immunisation across the city.

For the last three weeks, the Sindh government has launched a polio drive in the 24 most-sensitive union councils of the city on Sundays. During the drive, strict security measures are taken, including a complete ban on riding motorcycles.

Polio drive in Thatta

Meanwhile, a three-day polio eradication drive will be carried out in Thatta from March 24 to March 26, during which 167,887 children will be given polio drops.

According to a handout of the Sindh Information Department issued on Friday, the additional deputy commissioner, Abid Saleem Qureshi, directed health officials to make sure no child is left out. "In order to keep Thatta polio-free, we will have to strengthen our network and start an awareness campaign before the polio drive begins," he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.


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