5 more polio cases surface in KPK: Kamran Afridi

PESHAWAR: Five new cases of the polio virus were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government’s health department said.

According to the KP Health Department, three cases of polio were reported in Bannu and two cases were reported in Torghar, bringing the number of cases to 31 in the province for this year.

In all of the five cases, the children had not been administered the zero dose of the vaccine.

In a press statement issued by the Coordinator EOC KP Captain (R) Kamran Ahmed Afridi said, “All the efforts put in by the provincial government to eradicate polio from the region will not be achieved unless  the refusing parents understand that their individual decision to refuse anti-polio vaccines not only demonstrates indifference to their child’s health but is also an expression of disregard to the national cause of polio eradication that we must have to achieve as a nation.”

Along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, Pakistan is one of the only three countries where complete polio eradication has not yet been achieved.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), polio has been all but wiped out across the world following a sustained vaccination campaign, with only 22 cases reported in 2017 against more than 350,000 in 1988. There is no known cure but the disease can be prevented if children are given multiple treatments with the polio vaccine, the WHO says.

While it has virtually eliminated, polio remains a threat to global health because as long as a single child remains infected, the virus can easily be spread into polio-free countries and unimmunised populations, according to the health body.