A 21-month-old boy has been paralyzed by wild polio in the 12th case in Pakistan this year. All children are from North Waziristan.
The child had onset of paralysis on 18 June and belongs to Mir Ali (UC-2), the Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad has confirmed.
The southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, namely North and South Waziristan, DI Khan, Bannu, Tank and Lakki Marwat, are at highest risk of wild poliovirus transmission. Bannu also reported two positive environmental samples between April and May this year, confirming that ongoing wild poliovirus transmission is not limited to North Waziristan.
Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel said the Pakistan Polio Programme has had repeated immunization campaigns in southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa since the first child was reported with polio-induced paralysis and continues to strive to ensure that the virus does not spread.
“Even though these cases are happening in the same part of the country, parents and caregivers around Pakistan must remain extremely vigilant and give their children repeated doses of the polio vaccine,” said Federal Health Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam Irfan.
According to preliminary investigations, the child has been paralyzed in the right leg.
This year, 13 cases have been reported from Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only two polio endemic countries left in the world.