HomePakistanPakistan reports first polio case of 2023: report

Pakistan reports first polio case of 2023: report

Pakistan reported its first case of polio in 2023 after a three-year-old boy in the Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa became the latest victim of the disease, the country’s health ministry confirmed, the Pakistan-based newspaper Dawn reported. Pakistan.

Polio case in Pakistan: A health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child at a train station during a vaccination campaign in Karachi. (AFP)

The case has been reported at a time when delegations from the French Development Agency (FAD) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are in the country to discuss efforts to eradicate the disease.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Health Ministry said the FAD and BMGF delegations met with the federal Health Minister to discuss avenues for cooperation in social protection and health, with a focus on polio eradication.

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The director of the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) for polio, Dr. Shahzad Baig, said that an investigation is underway to identify whether the child received the vaccine or whether the parents refused to be vaccinated.

“However, it is clear that the child was not fully protected and therefore was attacked by the virus,” Dr. Baig said while speaking with Dawn.

He said this was the first case this year that has been reported after a gap of five months. Health authorities have issued an alert on the expected movement from tribal districts to urban areas on Ramazan and Eid. The authorities are now planning a vaccination campaign in the tribal districts from April 10, as security personnel are currently participating in the digital census.

According to the NEOC chief, there are seven districts in South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), including Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Bannu, South Waziristan and North Waziristan, where the virus is prevalent. “(These areas) should be vigorously targeted in the vaccination campaign.”

The region was the epicenter of the virus in 2022 and all 20 cases were reported in southern districts of KP. Of them, 17 were from North Waziristan, two from Lakki Marwat and one from South Waziristan, according to Dawn.

Although an anti-polio campaign was carried out in Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad in March, the campaign could not start in KP and Balochistan because security personnel were busy with census work.

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