Third polio virus case of this year reported from Bannu

Third polio virus case of this year reported from Bannu

Bannu: A child has been paralyzed by wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Bannu, bringing the number of polio cases in Pakistan this year to three, new case reported on Wednesday. 

The Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health notified on Tuesday that the affected child is an 18-months-old girl from Ghaura Baka Khel union council of Bannu, who had onset of paralysis on September 13.

Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan said: “This child, like all children, deserved to live a healthy and fulfilling life. It is incredibly tragic that now she will have to live with permanent disability from a disease that is entirely preventable.”

He added that all three children paralyzed by poliovirus this year belong to the same UC in Bannu. “We are actively working together with UN partner agencies to improve overall healthcare in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that is polio endemic. We are aggressively working to build immunity, improve nutritional standards and hygiene and sanitation.”

The minister further said that a nationwide polio vaccination campaign is currently underway, parents and caregivers must realize the threat of polio and make sure that their children are vaccinated and protected from this incurable disease.

Federal Health Secretary also urged parents to open their doors for vaccinators and welcome the volunteers who are bringing life-saving vaccine to their doorstep. “As a nation, we must band together and defeat this menace so that we can give our children a polio-free future,” he said.

In 2023, three children have been paralyzed by polio in Pakistan, while 20 cases were reported from Pakistan in 2022 after an outbreak in southern KP.  No case reported from outside the endemic southern KP region since January 2021 and virus circulation remains contained to this region