ISLAMABAD - Three new polio cases confirmed from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Monday have taken the total polio case count this year to 66.
The virology laboratory at National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad has confirmed the presence of P1 strain of the wild poliovirus in three children of the Fata (two from North and one from South Waziristan Agency).
There are nine districts or tribal agencies in the country which have been found to be infected. Around 92.4 percent (61 out of 66) polio cases this year have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata together; of which 74.2 percent (49/66) are from North and South Waziristan agencies.
Waqas, son of Wali Muhammad is a 22 months old boy with reported paralysis on April 27, 2014. The child is resident of village Kamsarobai, tehsil Miran Shah of North Waziristan. Afsa Bibi, daughter of Powneer, is a 6 months old baby girl with reported paralysis on April 28, 2014. She is a resident of Darpa Khel area near Derga Mandi village of tehsil Miran Shah.
Romana, daughter of Umer Khan, is a 22 months old baby girl with reported paralysis on April 20, 2014. The child is resident of Ziari Noor area of Toji Khel village in tehsil Wana of South Waziristan. Almost all polio cases reported from North and South Waziristan agencies in 2014 did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV).
Though, after the instructions of prime minister, children from high-risk Fata will be vaccinated at all Fata borders before their travel to other areas, no polio campaigns have been conducted in North and South Waziristan agencies since June 2012, leading to an ongoing polio outbreak.
Fata has reported 54 polio cases during the current year out of which 44 belong to North Waziristan, 5 belong to South Waziristan; whereas, 2 and 1 belongs to Khyber Agency and FR Bannu, respectively.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 9 polio cases during the current year, of which 5 belong to Bannu and 4 belong to Peshawar. Sindh has reported 5 polio cases this year, all from Karachi. However, Punjab and Balochistan province have not reported even a single case of polio.
Agencies add: The World Health Organisation (WHO) called its meeting on May 22 regarding travel ban on Pakistanis. Aisha Raza, the spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Polio Cell and National Institute of Health (NIH), will represent the country at the meeting.
The WHO has placed restrictions on Pakistanis due to the rising number of polio cases in the country. More than 100 health ministers of other countries will attend the meeting. The Pakistani delegation will brief the committee on the recommendations of the emergency committee.
The meeting will also review the actions taken to curb the viral disease and security issues in this regard.