Islamabad, June 1, 2024 – A child has been paralyzed by wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Shikarpur district of Sindh, bringing the number of cases in Pakistan this year to four.

The Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad has notified that WPV1 was detected from stool samples collected from of a 2.5-year-old child from Birkhan UC of Shikarpur.

The child had onset of paralysis on May 11 and genetic sequencing of the virus isolated from his samples shows that it is genetically linked to the imported YB3A cluster. This genetic cluster disappeared from Pakistan in mid-2021 but remained in circulation in Afghanistan. It was reintroduced in Pakistan following cross-border transmission last year.

β€œIt is a tragedy that another Pakistani child has been affected by a disease that can be easily prevented with the help of a vaccine which the government regularly brings to people at their doorsteps,” said Coordinator to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Malik Mukhtar Bharat.

He added that the National and Provincial Polio Emergency Operations Centres have deployed teams to conduct a full case investigation, while a polio vaccination campaign is being launched in 66 districts from June 3 to vaccinate children and build their immunity against poliovirus.

This is the fourth polio case reported from Pakistan in 2024 and first case from Shikarpur in over four years. The previous three cases were reported from Balochistan.

Poliovirus particularly attacks children who are malnourished and have weak immunity because of being under-vaccinated or not vaccinated for polio and other childhood diseases.

The Pakistan Polio Programme will be launching the fifth polio vaccination drive of the year from June 3 to vaccinate more than 16.5 million children in the country. The Programme urges parents and caregivers, religious leaders, teachers, community elders and all sections of society to play their role in countering this terrible disease and ensure that all children under five years of age around them are vaccinated multiple times against polio.


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.

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