KARACHI/Peshawar  -   Karachi on Wednesday reported its first polio case in eleven months, setting alarm bells for the city still not clear of the crippling virus, officials said.

A 42-month-old girl Salama d/o of Gul Ahmed living in Union Council-4 Gadap had contracted polio. The National Institute of Health, Islamabad, confirmed the samples sent from here few weeks ago tested positive for polio.

It is also the first case reported from Sindh in 2018 and sixth in the country out of them three from Balochistan and two from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Coordinator, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio in Sindh, Fayaz Jatoi confirmed that stool sample of Gul Ahmad, tested positive for polio virus. The child had received three doses of OPV in Routine Immunisation and 7+ doses of the polio vaccine in campaigns and this is why the child is not affected by the virus and has been saved from disabled, he added.

He said that the environment samples are coming positive from time to time and vaccination is the only way to prevent disability, this case shows that vaccines work.

He said vaccination efforts are saving children from being disabled because of polio. He explained that initially the child developed hip pain which the investigation took place, she is fully well now and is recovered.

The child and family have a history of travelling to and from Quetta.

Fayaz Jatoi said “We will continue our vaccination efforts to control and defeat this virus and we have come a long way from 2014 but we need to not rest and keep vaccinating. He said children should not be disabled from a vaccine preventable disease, parents should vaccinate their children in every campaign to ensure a healthy future for them.

Meanwhile, after a gap of more than two years, a polio case has been reported in Khyber District of erstwhile FATA, reports Abdul Salam Wazir, spokesman for FATA Secretariat.

The affected girl, Sahra, aged around four and half years, belongs to Landi Kotal area of Khyber district and is safe from disability, reads a statement sent by FATA Secretariat spokesman.

Sahra had taken polio vaccine during immunisation campaign and, therefore, is safe from becoming disabled. It merits a mention here that once an epicenter of polio virus in Pakistan, FATA was polio free from the last two years.

The last case of polio virus was reported in FATA on July 27 2016 and now this case is reported after a gap of two years and two months.

Credit for this success goes to the security forces of the country which cleared FATA from insurgents and provided access to health teams to administer polio drops to tribesmen.

After emergence of polio case, Emergency Operation Center (EOC) FATA has called an emergency meeting, the statement added.