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Pakistan officials report two more confirmed wild polio cases from North Waziristan, leaving a young boy and a girl paralyzed. Both children are 18-months old and belong to Mir Ali.

Image/CDC-/ Meredith Boyter Newlove, M.S., James Archer, M.S.

The female child had onset of paralysis on 10 May and the male child on 11 May.

Both cases were confirmed by the Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad on Thursday, 26 May. This is the fifth and sixth cases in North Waziristan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, this year.

Pakistan: 4th wild poliovirus case reported in North Waziristan

“These children will struggle for the rest of their lives because of the pain of disabilities caused by polio. I urge the people of Pakistan to vaccinate your children,” said Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.

The southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa that include North and South Waziristan, DI Khan, Bannu, Tank and Lakki Marwat, are at highest risk of wild poliovirus. While no human transmission has been reported outside North Waziristan, two positive environmental samples between April and May were reported from Bannu.

“All children suffering from wild polio are being offered rehabilitation services but regardless of the support the government provides, there is cure to polio. The only way to protect children is to give them repeated doses of the polio vaccine,” said Federal Health Secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja.

All children confirmed with wild polio this year belong to North Waziristan, where more cases are expected due to high refusal rates and instances of finger-marking without vaccination during campaigns.

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