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    Polio virus Detected From Sewage in 10 Cities of Pakistan During January

    Chitral Times Report

     

    ISLAMABAD: The extensive environmental surveillance established by the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme has detected the poliovirus from sewage of 10 cities during last month. According to results shared by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), the presence of poliovirus was confirmed in sewage samples collected from Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Sukkur, Killa Abdullah, Quetta, DI Khan, Peshawar and South Waziristan during January 2019. Considering the associated risks, the country programme has urged parents to ensure immunization of all children under the age of five years during the polio campaigns. “Polio eradication is a delicate time race between us (parents and health-care workers) and a deadly poliovirus. We have to collectively ensure that we reach all children with multiple doses of vaccination before this dangerous poliovirus found in the sewages of these towns reach unprotected children” remarked Dr. Rana Safdar, Coordinator for National Emergency Operations Centre. “The winter months provides the best chance to hit the poliovirus hard. Time is vital and we only have the window of 8 weeks to get maximum advantages of the low transmission season. The programme is focusing on children who miss vaccination because on any reason and let the virus survive no longer”, Dr. Safdar added. ‘’Continued presence of poliovirus in the sewage of these major cities poses risks to all vulnerable and unprotected children across Pakistan. Poliovirus from the sewage of South-Waziristan has paralyzed a 3-month old baby in Hangu and a poliovirus from the sewage of Lahore has paralyzed a 8-month child in Lahore. It is a reminder to everyone that presence of poliovirus in the sewage of these towns can cause life-long paralysis, especially if the child is not repeatedly vaccinated, in the same town or in a distant town due to the frequent population movement. I can’t emphasize enough how critically important it is to ensure that each and every child is vaccinated”, said Babar Bin Atta, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication.

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