Pakistan: Polio Outbreak - May 2019Alert
The Committee is gravely concerned by the significant further increase in WPV1 cases globally in 2019, particularly in Pakistan where 15 cases have already been reported. In Pakistan transmission continues to be widespread, as indicated by the number of positive environmental isolates in many areas of the country, and the proportion of samples that detect WPV1 is rising. The recent cluster of cases in Lahore also indicates that vulnerabilities still exist outside the high-risk corridors. Notably, the increased rate of infection during what is usually the low season may herald even higher rates of infection in the coming high season unless urgent remedial steps are taken. The committee was very concerned about attacks on vaccinators and on the police protecting them. The increasing refusal by individuals and communities to accept vaccination also needs to be actively addressed. While the committee understood that the recent elections and political transition may have adversely affected delivery of the polio program, it is now essential that the new government renews its efforts, noting that the eradication program in the country is no longer on-track. The committee suggested a thorough analysis of the situation in Pakistan be urgently undertaken, to understand what factors have led to the recent but most serious deterioration in polio eradication seen since 2014. Government, program and community factors need to be all included in such a review. (Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR), 29 May 2019).
One wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported in the past week, from North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, with onset of paralysis on 19 May, bringing the total number of WPV1 cases in 2019 to 19. (GPEI, 12 Jun 2019).
Most read reports
- Dawn: Pakistan: Polio case reported in Shangla first time in two decades. 16 Jun 2019
- Dawn: Parents refusing polio vaccination not to face police cases. 17 Jun 2019
- GPEI: Polio this week as of 12 June 2019. 17 Jun 2019
- Frontier Post: Another polio case surfaces in Bannu. 18 Jun 2019
- Frontier Post: Another polio case surfaced in KP. 14 Jun 2019
ISLAMABAD: The prime minister’s focal person on polio eradication, Babar bin Atta, has suggested Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan supervise the vaccination campaign in Bannu division to check the growing polio incidence.
The National Emergency Operation Centre said in a statement that eight of the year’s 16 countrywide polio cases were reported in Bannu division, including five in Bannu district and three in North Waziristan tribal district.
On 9 May 2019, the World Health Organization received notification of the detection of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) from an environmental sample, collected on 20 April, in Seestan and Balochistan province, Iran. The virus collected is an environmental sample only, and no associated cases of paralysis have been detected. Genetic sequencing confirmed it is linked to WPV1 circulating in Karachi, Pakistan. See country-specific sections below for more information.
ISLAMABAD: Despite government’s claims that all-out efforts are being made to eradicate polio from the country, another case was reported on Wednesday from North Waziristan tribal district.
The tally of cases for the current year has reached 16.
During the last 15 days, eight polio cases have been reported which was the total number of cases reported in 2017 and two-thirds of the 12 cases reported last year.
The recent case has been reported from Zeraki Baadshah Kot village of Mirali UC, where a 42-month-old child was diagnosed with polio.
ISLAMABAD: While the polio programme achieved a major success in removing the anti-polio content from social media, two more polio cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were on Friday confirmed after which the tally for the current year reached 15.
Immunisation campaigns have suffered due anti-vaxxers who launched a campaign on social media across the globe claiming the vaccines were causing a number of diseases and should not be administered to children.
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday gave approval for setting up a special anti-polio task force for eradicating the disease from the country. The meeting, held with Punjab chief minister in the chair at his office, decided to take more measures against the disease. A proposal was discussed that only those children should be given admissions to schools who have immunization cards.
LARKANA/KARACHI: A 38-month-old girl was found infected with poliovirus in Larkana, making it the second case of the crippling disease in Sindh this year, officials of the Emergency Operation Centre in the province said on Tuesday.
Babar bin Atta, the prime minister’s focal person on polio eradication, confirmed that with the new case in Larkana, a total of 12 children had been found with polio virus so far this year in different parts of the country.
KHAR: After a nine-day hiatus, another person associated with polio vaccination work fell victim to the renewed wave of targeted attacks on those involved in protecting children against the crippling disease.
Abdullah Jan, 35, was going home on a motorbike when unidentified assailants shot him dead in the Thani area, some 20 kilometres from Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal district, officials and locals said on Sunday.
ISLAMABAD: While the polio programme has been making efforts to eradicate the virus of the crippling disease and international health organisations have been keeping an eye on performance of Pakistan, the third polio case in the country has been reported during the current week.
The recent case has been reported from Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where a 12-month-old girl has been infected with the virus. Earlier, during the current week, two polio cases were reported from Lahore on consecutive days.
ISLAMABAD: The number of polio cases this year reached double figures on Thursday after the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed that a one-year-old girl in Lahore had contracted the virus.
It was a second straight day that Lahore had reported a polio case, bringing to three the total number of cases detected in the city.
“A child who has been paralysed with the virus of the crippling disease is a one-year-old female and the virus belongs to Outfall Pumping Station,” an official of lab told Dawn.
ISLAMABAD: Officials on Wednesday confirmed Pakistan’s ninth case of polio virus in the year so far. According to an official at the National Institute of Health, a 10-year-old boy from Lahore has been infected with the virus.
“Samples were collected on April 2 and sent to Islamabad for confirmation. The virus belongs to an Outfall Pumping Station in Lahore,” said an official deputed in the polio laboratory of the National Institute of Health. The Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Babar bin Atta, confirmed the news when Dawn spoke to him.
Instances of parents' refusal to allow health workers to administer anti-polio drops to their children rose by 85 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after rumours pertaining to the authenticity of the vaccine provoked hysteria across the province, Dr Ejaz, an official of KP's Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for polio said on Friday.
LAHORE: Amid serious security threats and increasing attacks on polio workers in different parts of the country, the federal government has suspended the anti-polio campaign “for an indefinite period”.
And for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government has also suspended the post-campaign evaluation — Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS).
CHAMAN: A female anti-polio immunisation campaign worker was gunned down and another injured on Thursday in Balochistan’s Chaman.
Assistant Commissioner Syed Sami Agha told reporters that unidentified suspects opened fire at the immunisation team in Sultan Zai, a city near the shared border with Afghanistan. The suspects managed to flee after the shooting.
He said both victims were shifted to District Headquarters Hospital.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication in Islamabad has notified two new polio cases from Bannu and North Waziristan, bringing the total number of polio cases in the country to eight this year.
According to the details shared by the NEOC, the infected children include a 22 months old male child of district Bannu and 24 months old female child of tehsil Miran Shah, tribal District North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
ISLAMABAD: Parents in the capital’s rural and urban areas refused to vaccinate their children against polio on Tuesday, the first day of a polio vaccination campaign, after the incident in Peshawar a day prior.
Hundreds of children were rushed to hospitals in Peshawar complaining of abdominal pain and nausea allegedly after being vaccinated on Monday. Most were released, and doctors at Lady Reading Hospital – which received 300 or so children – said whatever was impacting the children appeared to be psychological.
The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for Polio Eradication on Tuesday notified two new polio cases — both from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — bringing the total number of polio cases in the country to eight this year.
In March 2019, the Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme continued to implement the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication (NEAP) 2018-19, focusing on reaching every child in Pakistan with the polio vaccine in order to ultimately stop poliovirus circulation. From 25-28 March 2019, the programme carried out a Sub-National Immunization Days campaign (SNID) in 97 districts and towns across the country to vaccinate a total of 20.5 million children.
ISLAMABAD: National Coordinator of Polio Eradication Program Dr. Rana Safdar, has said that a countrywide anti-polio drops campaign to started across country including Azad and Gilgit Baltistan today (Monday).
He claimed that the anti-polio drive will target 39 million children across country.
He urged the people to cooperate with polio teams to administer drops to their children against this crippling disease.
The report by the Director-General World Health Organization on the eradication of poliomyelitis is online, ahead of the 72ndWorld Health Assembly scheduled for May 2019. The report summarizes the remaining challenges to a polio-free world and presents the main elements of the new GPEI Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023.
Cairo, April 9, 2019 - The World Health Organization expresses its shock and dismay at the killing of a dedicated frontline polio worker in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.
Mr Wajid Ali, who was a staff member of the Kamali Union Council of Tehsil Haleemzai in Mohmand District since April 2017, was shot and killed while he was supporting polio eradication and immunization efforts in Pakistan on 8 April 2019.