Polio Update – Islamabad – March 29, 2024

Environmental Sample test positive for WPV1 in District Badin

Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health Islamabad has confirmed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in environmental sample from a new district ‘Badin’ and other six previously infected districts. This brings the total count of outbreak districts to 30 and positive environmental samples to 83 this year.

The virus isolated from the samples is genetically linked to the YB3A poliovirus genetic cluster, which disappeared from Pakistan in 2021, remained in circulation in Afghanistan and was reintroduced through cross-border transmission in January 2023. This virus has been found in all positive samples and two polio cases reported this year.

Ensuring the health and safety of our nation's children is paramount, especially in the face of the persistent threat posed by poliovirus, said Federal Secretary for Health Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, while urging parents that embracing vaccination is not just a choice, but a responsibility we owe to our children to protect them from the disability-causing poliovirus.

The Pakistan Polio Programme has already conducted two nationwide polio campaigns, vaccinating more than 43 million children under five in both drives, while an outbreak response campaign is ongoing in 26 districts, including Chaman and Sukkur, to boost children’s immunity. Another campaign is planned in April and in coming months to keep children’s immunity against polio high.


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, except for the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For further information, please contact: Ms Hania Naeem, Communications Officer, NEOC,

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