Experts blame lack of political will, immunization gaps
A case of polio was reported from Sindh’s Jamshoro district on Saturday. This is the seventh polio case in Sindh this year.
With the recent case, the tally of cases in the country has risen to 69 this year.
The victim was a 31-month-old boy from Kotri in Jamshoro District, said the Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh.
He developed fever and chest congestion on August 22. The next day he was hit by a water tanker on the road and lost movement in both legs. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he got medication but did not improve.
Then he was referred to Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi where he was suspected to have acute flaccid paralysis (AFP)—the gold standard for polio detection. His stool samples were sent for investigation after which he was diagnosed with polio.
“The child had routine doses of polio [vaccinations], which we are verifying, and it is being investigated how many campaign doses were received. We are now going to have aggressive campaigns from November all the way to June and we aim to not only stop polio cases but instead eradicate polio from the environment. We will ensure we turn the tide,” said the spokesperson for the EOC in Sindh.
He appealed to parents to complete their children’s routine immunisation at EPI centres in their neighbourhoods.
There have been two cases of polio in Hyderabad, one in Larkana and three in Karachi this year. Across the country there have been 52 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and five each in Balochistan and Punjab.
The WHO has said lack of political will and gaps in immunisation campaigns were the reasons for cases of polio still emerging in the country. The health body also urged doctors to play their part in eliminating widespread misconceptions about the polio vaccine.