Via The Express Tribune: K-P’s first polio case of 2014 confirmed.
Fears expressed by health officials over the past few days came true on Wednesday when Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s first polio case of the year was confirmed in Bannu, pushing the country’s total to 11.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed the presence of the virus in 39-month-old Zeeshan, son of Noor Niyaz Khan and a resident of Lewan union council in Ahmad Khel, Bannu.
Various health officials had highlighted concerns that displacement from North Waziristan Agency due to military operations could result in the spread of the poliovirus to the settled districts.
Just like the rest of those diagnosed with polio this year, Zeeshan had also not received a single dose of the oral polio vaccine, shared Focal Person for Polio in FATA Dr Ihsanul Haq. Dr Haq said the child’s parents had been refusing to vaccinate him since the past three years.
An outbreak is very possible in Jani Khel, Baki Khel and Seena Tang areas of Frontier Region Bannu because many people there are opposed to vaccination, he added.
Chief Minister’s Polio Monitoring Cell Focal Person Dr Imtiyaz confirmed to The Express Tribune that the province’s first polio case has emerged from Bannu.
“We have identified all those areas in Bannu where internally displaced people from North Waziristan are settling and have vaccinated their children at these transit points,” he said.
“These children have not been vaccinated since 2012 and we are planning to launch large-scale drives to immunise them as well the children in the district,” stated Dr Imtiyaz.
Of the total 11 cases of polio recorded this year, 10 are from the restive North Waziristan Agency where militants placed a ban on polio vaccines in 2012.