Six new polio cases have been reported in Pakistan. Two cases each were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab. The total number of polio cases in the country has now reached 134.
These are cases from last year which were still being investigated. The National Emergency Operations Centre believes more cases will come forward as investigations continue.
The first case is a 24-month-old boy from KP’s Dera Ismail Khan. His parents recalled that he had received seven doses of the polio vaccine during campaigns and none during routine immunisation. The second case is a nine-month-old girl from Lakki Marwat. She wasn’t vaccinated against polio.
The cases from Sindh were from districts Jamshoro and Kamber Shahdadkot. This takes the total number of Sindh to 24, said the EOC Sindh. In Kamber a 36-month-old boy has been affected. According to parents he had received polio drops but no routine immunisation. In Jamshoro a 12-year-old boy was affected who had received seven doses of the polio vaccine but none routinely.
The spokesperson for the EOC Sindh said routine immunisation coverage still remains a significant challenge as evident by the recent polio cases. This, coupled with the long gap in door to door campaigns during 2019, has created a large pool of vulnerable children.
The cases from Punjab were both girls from Dera Ghazi Khan. The first case was a six-month-old who had received two polio vaccines during campaigns and two routinely. The second was a 12-month-old girl who was vaccinated during polio campaigns but didn’t receive any doses routinely.
A special response campaign is planned from January 13, said the National EOC. This will be followed up by two national immunisation days in February and April with targeted case response in between.
Karachi campaign to target missed children starts Friday
A special response campaign will begin in Karachi from January 10 and last for two days. It will target those children who were missed during the previous campaign in the city, said Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani.
The campaign is being carried out on the orders of the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. It aims to vaccinate around 60, 000 children under five years in 34 high-risk union councils.