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PM Calls National Task Force Meeting After Polio Cases Resurface

Author: Naba Batool
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The detection of a polio case in North Waziristan leads to an immediate call of action by the PM.

The first polio case detection after a 15-month span has created quite the buzz in the region. In the wake of the recent events, PM Shahbaz Sharif has summoned a National Task Force Meeting in the context of Polio Eradication.

The main agenda of this meeting is to present a carefully curated report before the PM as to why the sudden cases of Polio are resurfacing in North Waziristan. This also calls for an action plan regarding the detection of type-1 wild poliovirus as well as its spread.

According to the data of the News, this is the third reported case of Polio in Pakistan, in the year 2022.

 

The first case of polio was confirmed in a 15-month-old boy on Friday, April 22, 2022. The boy was showing symptoms of paralysis earlier in the month and after the tests, polio was confirmed. Furthermore, the laboratory also confirmed the presence of the virus in the samples collected in the Bannu District of KPK.

Pakistan reported the last polio case on January 27, 2021.

Secretary of Health Amir Ashraf said that “This is, of course, a tragedy for the child and his family and it is also very unfortunate both for Pakistan and polio eradication efforts all over the world. We are disappointed but not deterred.”

The case has appeared in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where poliovirus was detected in the environment late last year and where an emergency action plan is already being implemented.

The National and Provincial Polio Emergency Operations Centers have deployed teams to conduct a full investigation of the recent case, while emergency immunization campaigns are underway to prevent further spread of the wild poliovirus in Pakistan.

Furthermore, National Emergency Operations Center Coordinator Dr. Shahzad Baig briefed the media that “This validates the program’s concerns about virus circulation in southern KP and strengthens our resolve to reach every child with the polio vaccine.”