Friday Mar 17, 2023
A three-year-old boy has tested positive for the crippling disease in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), making it the first polio case of the year 2023 in the country, it emerged on Friday.
The boy is a resident of Ghora Bakka Khel in Bannu.
The crippling disease has affected both legs of the minor boy. The patient and his family have no travel history, confirmed the authorities.
Year’s first poliovirus sample detected in Lahore
Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Abdul Qadir Patel on January 24 confirmed the country’s first detection of the wild poliovirus in 2023 — found in an environmental sample in Lahore.
However, the virus has been periodically detected in its sewage water. The poliovirus found in Gulshan-e-Ravi's sample found links to Afghanistan's Nangahar province from last November, the Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH) said.
Meanwhile, Patel said that the two "countries are united in the fight against the virus and are working together to eradicate" the crippling disease.
He renewed the government’s commitment to completely eradicate the crippling disease from the country.
He added that while the isolation of the virus was a cause of concern, it was excellent to note that it was detected promptly. "This timely detection of the virus in the environment was crucial to protecting children from being paralysed by the poliovirus."
Stressing the need to vaccinate children timely, the minister said: “The only way to stop the virus is to vaccinate all children under the age of five. It is critically important that parents and caregivers, particularly in Lahore, ensure that their child is vaccinated in the February round.”