Another polio case surfaces from Bannu District

PESHAWAR: In an alarming development, five more cases have been reported from three districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the Emergency Operation Centre, three cases have been reported from Bannu and one each from Charsadda and North Waziristan tribal district. The affected children include three girls and two boys.

The Emergency Operation Centre said the main reason behind emergence of polio cases is refusal by parents to administer anti-polio vaccine to their children. It requited the parents to fully cooperate with the vaccination teams to save their children from the crippling disease. It said the parents should not pay heed to negative propaganda against vaccination and vaccinate their children for their safe future.

After emergence of five new cases, the total number of polio cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this year has reached 41.

On July 27, the Emergency Operation Centre notified a polio case from Bannu. Babar Atta, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, said that the polio case was detected where in an area where the child was shown getting vaccination drops since last many months on paper and data, while in reality, the mother revealed that she had been faking the finger markings to avoid polio drops.

On July 17, a polio case surfaced in Lakki Marwat. Local sources said poliovirus was confirmed in the samples of one-year-old Javeria, daughter of Nazeefullah, from Kot Kashmir area of Lakki Marwat.

Polio eradication officer Dr Ihsan said the affected girl missed the anti-polio vaccination injection due to which the disease affected her. He said the girl fell ill on June 23 after which her samples were sent for laboratory tests. He said laboratory reports have confirmed that the girl has been affected by poliovirus.

On June 28, the national polio eradication programme reported four poliovirus cases — two each from Bannu and Balochistan. On July 3, five polio cases were reported from Bannu and Torghar.

The number of polio cases is soaring in KP, particularly in Bannu, due to continuous propaganda and rumours against polio vaccination in recent months.

The government has taken several measures including arrest of parents, blocking of computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and suspension of privileges of people who refuse to cooperate with the vaccination teams.