LAHORE – Polio virus has been found in the sewage water samples collected from Gadap Town, Karachi, after a gap of about four months.

According to a press release issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday, Gaddap Town is one of the polio virus reservoirs in the country and a lot of efforts were made here over the past six months to reach every child during polio campaign. However, during the last campaign in mid July; all children could not be reached because of the deteriorated security situation and incidents of targeting polio workers.

Sewage samples from Baldia Town, Karachi, also showed presence of polio virus for the first time this year. Sewage samples from Sukkur and Hyderabad in Sindh, Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Rawalpindi and Lahore in Punjab have also shown presence of polio virus in these places.

Pakistan has reported a total of 27 polio cases this year; 13 from FATA, six from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three each from Sindh and Punjab, and two from Balochistan. These polio cases were reported from 15 districts in the country. Pakistan’s Augmented National Emergency Action Plan aims at interrupting the polio virus circulation in the country by the end of this year.

The recent unfortunate facts are banning of the polio campaigns in North and South Waziristan Agencies, depriving more than 200,000 children in these areas of polio vaccination. This is in addition to Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, which has been inaccessible for vaccination teams since September 2009. Ten out of 13 polio cases in FATA this year have been reported from Bara alone.