Fifth poliovirus case diagnosed in Balochistan

This is the sixth poliovirus case from Pakistan, one was diagnosed from Sindh

By | |
A young boy is vaccinated in Maraghzar Colony, Lahore. — WHO/File
A young boy is vaccinated in Maraghzar Colony, Lahore. — WHO/File
  • This is the sixth poliovirus case from Pakistan.
  • Five cases, so far, diagnosed from Balochistan.
  • One case was reported from Sindh this year.

An 18-month-old child has been diagnosed with poliovirus in Balochistan's Qilla Abdullah district, the provincial health department said on Tuesday.

This is the sixth poliovirus case from Pakistan and the fifth from Balochistan alone in 2024. One case was reported from Sindh this year.

Meanwhile, it was the second such case reported from the Qilla Abdullah district.

Earlier, cases of the virus from the province were also reported from Dera Bugti, Chaman, and Quetta.

According to the technical summary of the case, the child had a high grade fever on June 1, 2024, and developed weakness in the right leg on June 3, 2024, as per the parents.

It added that the onset was sudden and progressed quickly.

The report mentioned that the child was taken to local healthcare providers and notified at Al-Khair private hospital in Quetta on June 8, 2024, after which the case was investigated and classified as urgent based on clinical findings on June 9.

"The child has not received any OPV doses in SIAs or RI, except for the birth dose of OPV and BCG (with scar present). There is no history of any intramuscular injection in the last 24 hours prior to the onset of paralysis," the report stated, adding that there was no travel history of the child prior to the onset of paralysis.

Govt resolves to eliminate polio

A day earlier, the National Task Force on Polio Eradication had expressed the resolve to employ all resources to eliminate polio from Pakistan, which was headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad.

Chair of Gates Foundation Bill Gates together with President Global Development Dr Chris Elias, President Gender Equality and Michael Galway Dr Anita Zaidi, Deputy Director of Polio Eradication of the Gates Foundation along with partner organizations of Rotary, UNICEF, World Health Oorganisation and Centre for Disease Control attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the premier resolved that as long as the virus continues to circulate and paralyze children, our efforts would continue with full force.

He directed all stakeholders to ensure that every child in Pakistan receives multiple doses of the vaccine and is protected against polio, emphasising that provinces should lead polio eradication efforts in their regions with a sense of urgency to interrupt wild poliovirus transmission this year.

Gates, in his remarks, said his foundation will continue to extend support to Pakistan for polio eradication. He emphasised on the importance of obtaining maximum vaccination coverage during polio vaccination campaigns.

The meeting was also briefed about the challenges in implementing successive polio drives in several areas, particularly in security-compromised areas and some parts of Balochistan.