Lakki Marwat confirms two new polio cases – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Two new cases of polio were confirmed in the district of Lakki Marwat, which is also the constituency of the health minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Hisham Inamullah Khan.

An official from the Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH), who is not authorized to speak on the record, said both cases were reported by Lakki Marwat. "A six-month-old man from Kotka Mushkalam, Tehsil Serai Naurang, Lakki Marwat district, has been confirmed with the polio virus," he said. "The second child is an eighteen month old male, a resident of Kotka Bazee Sheikh, Tehsil Serai Naurang, Lakki Marwat District," he said.

"Due to recent cases, the total number of polio cases has increased to 50 in the province and general cases across the country have reached 66, compared with 12 cases in 2018 and eight cases in 2017," he added. "During the current year, six cases of Sindh and five of Balochistan and Punjab have been reported," he said.

The total number of cases this year exceeds 66

The official said it was worrisome that after Bannu, Lakki Marwat reported cases. "Thousands of rejections and missing children are also reported from the district during each polio vaccination campaign," he said.

The health minister could not be contacted despite repeated attempts to contact him for Dawn. But the Prime Minister's Focal Person on Polio Babar Bin Atta spoke with Dawn and explained the possible reason for the increase in polio cases in the Lakki Marwat district. “Bannu and Lakki Marwat are adjacent. Whenever cases begin to increase in Bannu, they also begin to increase in Lakki Marwat, ”he said. “However, we have decided to give Lakki Marwat a special approach so that no more cases are reported from there. During each polio campaign it would be guaranteed that no children are lost, ”he said.

The focal person also told him Dawn about the way parents sabotaged the campaign. "It is unfortunate that people have kept markers in their homes and on the first day of the polio vaccination campaign they mark their children's fingers to avoid vaccination," he said. Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus that primarily affects children under five. Repeated vaccines have protected millions of children from polio. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where the poliovirus continues to persist.

Posted on Dawn, September 23, 2019



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