KARACHI - The resurfacing of another polio case in the metropolis has once again put a question mark on the performance of the government and its health policies towards eradication of polio disease from the country.
Responding to the issue, the health experts said if the polio could not be ended from the country then Pakistanis might face great international traveling problems in future as travel restrictions may be imposed on Pakistanis.
Sindh Expended Programme on Immunization (EPI) Deputy Project Manager Dr Duray Naaz told The Nation that a two-year-old child namely Muzelfa, daughter of Muhammad Sarwar (Pashto speaking) was diagnosed with polio virus in Baldia Town of Karachi. She said her immunisation status was zero and she got her right leg paralysed.
The incident has increased the total number of polio cases to 28 in Pakistan with 24 in North Waziristan, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Sindh. It is pertinent to mention here that during the last campaign in Karachi, conducted in association with the World Health Organisation and Unicef, Sindh government has imposed eight-hour ban on the use of motorcycles in the sensitive councils where 500,000 children were the targeted population for polio vaccination. The government has taken this initiative after taking notice of the expected terrorists’ attacks.
The leaders of Pakistan Medical Association have expressed serious concerns over the detection of another new polio case in Karachi. “A group of people having specific thoughts are wanted to make the nation disable,” he added.
PMA Karachi Chapter General Secretary Dr Qazi Wasiq, while talking to The Nation, said the immunisation programme cannot run under the threat of guns from the extremists. He pointed out that the society is required to play its due role against the ignorant mentality which is basically against the concept of progress and evolution.
He said the Pakistanis were not fully aware of the fatality of the disease. The disease invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours, he added. He said there was a dire need to set up polio vaccine centres at the City’s airport, railway stations and inter-city bus stands to ensure that the children travelling from other provinces, especially KPK, to Karachi are vaccinated.
According to some reports, “World Health Organisation has already warned the Pakistan government that travel restrictions may be imposed on Pakistanis from May if anti-polio immunisation continues to be hampered. Around 260,000 kids have not been vaccinated against polio for the past two years in Pakistan because vaccination teams cannot carry out door-to-door campaigns in tribal areas of the country due to attacks on the health workers.”
POLIO CASE IN NORTH WAZIRISTAN CONFIRMED
INP adds: At least another new case of polio virus was reported in North Waziristan on Friday.
According to National Health Department, 10-month-old Sajid of Miranshah was confirmed to have been affected by polio virus as he was administered no vaccination.