LANDIKOTAL: A polio case has surfaced in a child in Bazaar Zakhakhel area of Landikotal sub-division in Khyber tribal district.

Local sources said poliovirus has been detected in the samples of one-year-old Umar Hayat. The sources said Umar Hayat was given polio drops in the vaccination campaigns due to which he remained safe from disability, but still he has symptoms of poliovirus.

It is the sixth case of polio in Pakistan this year. Four of these cases surfaced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On February 15, a polio case surfaced in Hangu district. Focal Person of the prime minister for polio eradication programme Babar bin Atta said poliovirus was found in the samples of four-month-old Fatima from Hangu and another eight-month-old girl in Shalimar Town of Lahore in Panjab.

On January 16, a polio case surfaced in Bannu. The victim child, 24-month-old Rehan, suffered from the life-long disability due to refusal of his father to administer polio vaccine to him during immunisation campaigns.

On February 2, the first polio case of 2019 surfaced in Bajaur. The district surgeon said polio case was confirmed in 11-month-old Javed.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio is categorised is endemic viral infection. Vaccination efforts in these countries are often hampered due to refusal of parents or threats from militants.

The National Emergency Operation Centre has already issued warning of presence of poliovirus in eight cities including Peshawar, Lahore, Bannu, Rawalpindi, Qila Abdullah, Pishin, Quetta and Karachi.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government last week decided to block the computerised national identity cards (CNICs) of the parents who refused to administer polio vaccination drops to their children.

KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said that refusal by parents to administer polio vaccination drops to their children tantamount to terrorism. He said the provincial government will block the CNICs of those who did not cooperate with the vaccination teams and will take more steps to ensure provision of vaccination to each and every child to save them from the crippling disease.

Mr Yousafzai said about 3,000 parents have been identified in 14 districts of KP who are not allowing the polio teams to administer polio vaccine to their children. He said the refusal by parents in such a large number is an alarming sign. He said the provincial government had to take this step to ensure provision of polio vaccine to every child.

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