ISLAMABAD - As all civic life seems to reach a stalemate in the capital owing to long marches of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, public health measures have also faced delays.
According to officials, due to the announced marches immunisation campaigns against various diseases, including polio, have been delayed that will affect the whole year's health measures plan, ultimately affecting the fight against polio.
The health officials were asked to conduct a three-day vaccination campaign in slums and high-risk areas by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell from August 18 but due to emerging political uncertainty it has been postponed till August 25. This year nearly five campaigns have been planned to be held and due to the delay of this campaign all others will also be delayed.
"Amid reports that the city would be sealed from August 13, it would not be possible for polio workers to go to the areas for which the campaign was planned so its been postponed till August 25 for the time being," informed Dr Hassan Orooj, the head of the Health Directorate at Capital Development Authority. "Moreover, the city administration has also declined to provide security to the health workers till the situation normalises," he added.
Meanwhile, two new wild type-1 polio cases were confirmed by National Institution of Health (NIH) on Monday night. Total tally of polio cases has now reached 110.
The children who contacted the virus have been identified as Sofia, 12-month-old female child of tehsil Birmal, South Waziristan Agency, and Munib Rehman, 18-month-old male child of Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency. Both the children did not receive polio vaccine doses.
Out of total 110 cases, Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) has reported 79 (NWA 59, SWA 08, Khyber, 10, FR Bannu 02), Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, 19 (Peshawar 08, Bannu 09, Mardan 01, Laki Marwat 01), Sindh 10 (Karachi 09, Sanghar 01), Punjab 01 (Chakwal), Balochistan 01 (Killa Abdullah).