New polio case in Pakistan sets alarm bells ringing

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By Numan Wahab

Pakistan’s fight against polio attracted widespread media attention and global appreciation after video of a Pakistani polio worker Irfan, braving harsh snow to ensure children get polio vaccine, went viral on social media recently.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also invited Irfan and other polio workers to the PM House and lauded their efforts for reaching out to children with polio vaccines in extreme weather conditions. The hashtag #SalamPolioWorker also picked up momentum on microblogging giant, Twitter.

 

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person and is spread mainly through the faecal-oral route, or, less frequently, by a common vehicle, such as contaminated water or food.

 

Amid all these celebrations, a new polio case has surfaced and this time in Lahore—the provincial metropolis of Pakistan’s most populous province Punjab—bringing the total number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2012 to record 555.

With this new case the total polio cases in Punjab have reached 18. Pakistan’s northwest tribal region is worst affected by polio with maximum 289 cases since 2012.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan is one of three remaining polio-endemic countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.

 

Numan Wahab is Staff Reporter at The News, Lahore. 

 

 

 

Main image: End Polio Pakistan

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