Measures in place: Measles kills four in Balochistan

Fourth polio virus case surfaces in the province

Our Correspondent July 05, 2015
Fourth polio virus case surfaces in the province. PHOTO: REUTERS

QUETTA: At least four people, including a father and a daughter, died of measles in the Killi Aho Gho area of Mashkel district, Washuk on Saturday.

Balochistan Health Secretary Noorul Haq Baloch has confirmed the deaths in Mashkel and said a health team has been ordered to carry out a vaccination programme there.

According to DHO Washuk Abdul Sammad, the victims were identified as Nadir Ali, his daughter Samana and two females. Nadir Ali was working on the Pak-Iran border at zero-point as trader.

Abdul Nabi Reki, a resident of Mashkel, told The Express Tribune that the Mashkel tehsil of Washuk district is suffering from a lack of basic health facilities. “The DHO came to our area on instructions of the health secretary but he sat in the Basic Health Unit and then left. He did not visit the Killi Aho Gho area,” he said.

Residents of Mashkel demanded emergency vaccination by the health authorities in the area. Mashkil is located along the Pakistan and Iran border.

Polio case

In the Pashtunabad neighbourhood of Quetta, a four-year-old boy has contracted the crippling polio disease in the provincial capital of Balochistan. An official of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Balochistan confirmed the news on Thursday. The number of such cases reached a total of four in Balochistan and 26 in Pakistan during the year 2015.

Coordinator of the the EOC Balochistan, Dr Syed Saifur Rehman, says the victim was confirmed as a 57-month-old Sharifullah s/o Abdul Khaliq. He did not receive a single dose of anti-polio drop after his parents refused to do so, citing religious grounds. The affected child is a resident of Metha Chowk in Pashtunabad Union Council 11-B.

“The parents were approached eight times after they refused to administer polio drops to their children,” he said. The parents of this affected child refused because they believed the drops were made of pig meat and would destroy the fertility of the children.

“These parents’ mistakes are destroying the careers and lives of children,” Dr Syed Saifur Rehman said. “These parents are putting the lives of children at risk when they refuse to administer anti-polio drops,” he said.

It was the second such case in Pashtunabad while the other two were reported in the Loralai and Qila Abdullah districts.

As many as four cases of wild polio virus were reported in Balochistan while the total number of cases reached 26 in Pakistan. The country accounts for more than 90 per cent cases of poliovirus worldwide.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.