KAKINADA: Confusion continued to prevail around two suspected polio cases admitted to the Government General Hospital (GGH) at Kakinada in East Godavari district last month.
While hospital authorities and district health officials state that the two children were suffering from cerebral palsy and not polio, the parents and those who have seen them suspect that these might be cases of polio as the children otherwise appear normal except for the narrowing of limbs.
Brought by their parents, they are eight-year-old Pastam Ramesh, son of Brammaiah, of Airpalem village, Atchutapuram mandal, Visaka district and eight-year-old Sirigiri Pujitha, daughter of Komaraiah, Chinnamupuram village, Nellikuduru mandal of Warangal district.
However, post preliminary examination by head of paediatrics Prof Manikyyama at GGH, ruled out polio and authorities claim that they are waiting for reports from the government laboratory in Chennai. District medical and health officer (DMHO) C Padmavathi has also stated that the two children are physically challenged, suffering from congenital anomaly and cerebral palsy. Their parents also had consanguineous marriage. Their samples have also been sent to Chennai for tests.
Medical superintendent of GGH Venkat Gupta said, "Our doctors have examined the children and have ruled out polio. They are affected with cerebral palsy. Even in cerebral palsy, since the nerves don't function well, there's wastage of muscles and the legs become thin, which may be confused with polio. Samples have been sent to Chennai for test and their report is awaited in a fortnight. Till then the kids have been kept as in-patient in our hospital," said the doctor.
Polio detection is crucial at this juncture because it's one more year to go for India to be declared polio-free by World Health Organisation (WHO), provided not a single new case is detected in any corner of the country. The last case of polio was found two years ago in Howrah, West Bengal. In Vizag, the last confirmed case of polio was reported in 2008 from Peda Jalaripeta region.
Moreover, grants and certificates of appreciation from international NGOs are also dependent on non-registration of new polio cases.