A 17-month boy in North Waziristan has been paralyzed by wild polio in the 14th case from the district this year, the 15th case in the country.
The child suffering from polio-induced disabilities had onset of paralysis on 1st August, the Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health confirmed on Friday.
Besides one case from Lakki Marwat, all cases from Pakistan this year have been from North Waziristan in children under two years of age.
Polio campaigns have proven to be successful all over the world with over 99% of the world now polio-free. The only two remaining polio-endemic countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan – have reported 16 cases this year, with one case reported in Afghanistan in January.
Despite the extreme climatic conditions, the Pakistan Polio Programme has continued immunization campaigns wherever possible. The ongoing national immunization days started on 22nd August and polio workers continue to reach children in all accessible areas, braving heavy rainfalls and floods.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunizations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.