Pakistan: First polio case of 2023 reported from Bannu
Bannu: Pakistan's first polio case of 2023 was reported from Bannu on Friday as the country failed once again to free itself from the disease.
Pakistan's Health Ministry said a three-year-old child from Bannu has emerged as the latest victim of the disease.
"A three-year-old from Bakakhel Tehsil of Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been paralyzed by the Wild Poliovirus 1. This is Pakistan’s first polio-positive case in the current year,” an official of the National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH) told The News International.
Commenting on the situation, Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel was quoted as saying by the newspaper that since early last year, all polio cases had been from the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The seven polio-endemic districts of south Khyber Pakhtunkhwa include North Waziristan, Upper and Lower South Waziristan, DI Khan, Bannu, Tank and Lakki Marwat.
“It’s deeply tragic that a three-year-old child has to suffer with lifelong disabilities by a disease that is entirely preventable,” said Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, adding, “Polio teams continue to reach children in these areas that suffer from poor routine immunization and low nutritional standards.”
The head of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio, Dr Shahzad Baig, Dawn News an investigation is ongoing to identify whether the child received the vaccination or the parents refused vaccination.
“However, it is clear that the child was not fully protected and that is why attacked by the virus,” Baig said while talking to Dawn.