KARACHI  - Polio virus has been found in the sewage water samples collected from Gaddap town after a gap of about four months.

Gaddap town is one of the most affected areas of country where a lot of efforts have been made during the last six months to reach out every child during the anti-polio campaigns. However, during the last campaign in mid July; all children could not be vaccinated anti-polio drops due to deteriorated security situation and incidents pf targeting the polio workers.

Sewage samples from Baldia town also showed presence of polio virus for the first time this year, as 12 samples collected early this year did not have the virus. 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.

About 27 polio cases have been reported so far this year across the country; 13 from FATA, 6 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3 each from Sindh and Punjab and 2 from Balochistan. These polio cases came from 15 districts in the country. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan’s Augmented National Emergency Action Plan aims at interrupting the poliovirus circulation in the country by the end of this year. The recent unfortunate facts are the banning of the polio campaigns in North and South Waziristan Agencies, depriving more than 200,000 kids of the polio vaccination. This is in addition to Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency which has been inaccessible for vaccination teams since September 2009.

It is pertinent to mention that 10 of the 13 polio cases in FATA this year have been reported from Bara. If the recently imposed ban on polio vaccination is not reversed and access in Bara is not gained; the goal of National Emergency Action Plan is at serious risk.