The Health Ministry reported the first polio case in Pakistan when a three-year-old boy has become the latest victim of the disease. The young boy is a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the Bannu district.
This particular case surfaced in the presence of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the French Agency for Development (FAD) representative. They were in Pakistan to study the efforts that have been taken to eliminate the disease.
The Health Minister in a statement released on Friday said, “The FAD and BMGF delegations met the federal health minister to discuss avenues for cooperation in social protection and health, with a focus on polio eradication.”
Islamabad ➖ French Agency for Development and the @gatesfoundation delegation reiterated their commitment to #endpolio during a visit to the National 🇵🇰 EOC where @CoordinatorNeoc Dr. Shahzad Baig gave a detailed briefing on current challenges & ongoing eradication efforts. pic.twitter.com/uK2YX2xlN2— Pak Fights Polio (@PakFightsPolio) March 19, 2023
After the first polio case discovery, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the head of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Dr. Shahzad Baig said that “an investigation has been conducted to study and identify if the child had got vaccinated or the parents refused vaccination. While talking to Dawn on the Pakistan polio crisis.”
“However, it is clear that the child was not fully protected and that is why attacked by the virus,” he added further.
France has also pledged $55m to help Pakistan eradicate polio after the sudden rise in the cases again.
After the polio case of a three-year-old boy emerged after five months, an alert has been issued by Pakistan Health Authorities. This alert has been issued focusing on the expected movement from tribal areas to urban areas during Ramzan and Eid.
From April 10th, 2023 Pakistan authorities will commence the vaccination drive in tribal districts with Pakistan security personnel. Also, the virus has been seen as very prevalent in the seven districts including Tank, Bannu, Dera Iskamil Khan, North Waziristan, South Waziristan, and Lakki Marwat. These areas will be targeted particularly and vigorously in the vaccination campaign.