ISLAMABAD, 22 JULY, 2022  – An 18-month child was paralyzed by wild polio in Lakki Marwat, the Pakistan Polio Laboratory in Islamabad confirmed on Friday.  

The child had onset of paralysis on 20 June and is suffering from disabilities in both lower limbs. This is the thirteenth case in Pakistan this year.

“The virus remains contained in the districts at highest risk. To interrupt virus transmission in southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, we have started giving injectable vaccines due to higher acceptance of this form of immunization, as well as offering hygiene products such as soap to prevent the spread of all germs,” said Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.

All children paralyzed in Pakistan this year belong to southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where 12 cases are from North Waziristan alone.

“We have successfully managed to prevent the virus from spreading elsewhere despite the frequent movement of people between KP and other parts of the country. If we can contain and eliminate the virus from this area, we can win the fight against polio,” said Federal Health Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam Irfan.

“We are continuously reassessing our strategies to ensure we reach more children. Vaccine acceptance has increased in KP since we initiated some emergency measures for the highest risk districts. We will continue to amplify our efforts until we eradicate the virus,” said National Emergency Operations Coordinator, Dr. Shahzad Baig.

The next polio campaign in southern KP begins on 15 August.

Note for the Editor:

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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