Pakistan's first polio case for 2020 confirmed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

The first confirmed polio case for 2020 in Pakistan has surfaced from Lakki Marwat city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to Polio Emergency Operation Center’s report, A one year toddler was tested positive for Polio virus by the National Institute of Health.

The reports regarding the provision of vaccination are contradicted by the family who claim that no anti-polio vaccine team visited their home. The anti-polio campaign in Pakistan faces difficulties with parents reluctant to get their children vaccinated. Cases of non-compliance often go unreported as health workers face difficult choices in remote areas.

A total of 136 WPV (wild poliovirus) cases were reported in Pakistan in 2019. K-P province led with 92, Sindh: 25, Balochistan: 11 and Punjab: 8. Another 18 children tested positive for circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2).

According to report of a private media organisation, the data available from the provincial health department indicated a total of 10,89,087 parents had refused polio vaccination for their children. The highest number of refusal cases – 6,94,984 – were reported in April during the previous year. More than a million families in K-P alone refused to administer anti-polio vaccines in December 2019 alone due to negative narrative around the vaccines.

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