KARACHI- A second polio case was surfaced in Gadap Town area of Karachi, increasing the tally of victim of the crippling disease to two in Sindh province this year.
An official at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh has confirmed the second case of polio in Karachi in 2017. A five-month old Zaibullah, son of Ghulam Sakhi, a resident of UC 4 Gadap has contracted the virus resulting in both of his legs being affected. The family hails from Afghanistan.
Coordinator, EOC, Sindh Fayaz Jatoi said that ‘it is highly unfortunate that this child is affected by polio, the teams had reached him with the oral polio vaccine but he had no routine immunization and was low on immunity. Given the presence of virus circulation in Karachi I urge parents ensure that they must give their children polio drops during every campaign until they are five years of age and also make sure they get their routine immunization.”
After a halt for 19 months, this is the second polio case to be reported in Karachi in 2017. The first was a refusal case and was reported in August in UC 13 Gulshan.
“The virus is present in the environment and it will look for children with low immunity. This is why I urge parents to come forward to vaccinate their children in every campaign. Please understand that the virus is circulating in Karachi and if children are not vaccinated or are low on immunity, it will attack them. We must reach every child and parents who refuse the vaccine must stop doing that immediately as they will not only be endangering the lives of their own children but also others in the community” said coordinator EOC Sindh Fayaz Jatoi.
Coordinator EOC Sindh further stated that extensive steps will be taken to control the spread of the virus.
Karachi which was known as the largest reservoir of polio in the world made huge progress in polio eradication, just 3 years ago the city reported 23 polio cases and the EOC has been able to contain the outbreak through applying innovative strategies such as hiring educated local female workers. These strategies have been acclaimed by the international community and have brought us to the brink of polio eradication, however we are at a difficult juncture.
The progress was in front of the media to see and we are sure they remember where we have come from, we appeal for the media to raise awareness so that parents may understand that they must vaccinate on multiple occasions until polio is completely eradicated.
Coordinator EOC Sindh Fayaz Jatoi said that “we have repeatedly warned that despite the progress made we have still not reached the finish line, our workers must double their efforts and we must reach every child.”
Karachi has a target population of approximately 2.4 million children under 5 years of age and in order to protect them from polio, they must receive this important vaccine on multiple occasions.
It may be noted that all private hospitals in Karachi as well as the Pakistan Medical Association and Pakistan Paediatric Association have endorsed the polio vaccine and polio campaigns and advise repeated vaccination for all children under 5 years of age in order to save them from polio and to eradicate polio from Pakistan.