PESHAWAR   -   Due to consistent refusal of parents to vaccinate their children, five more children were tested positive for polio virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday, taking up the total count of such cases in the province to 26 during 2019.

Provincial government is consistently aiming to aware the community of polio virus and risk it poses to the children in the form of paralyses and often death in extreme cases. But unfortunately, there are some parents/caregivers who have doubts about vaccine safety and they refuse to get their children administered polio vaccine propagation of virus and more polio cases.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa EOC Coordinator Kamran Afridi said: “Polio virus will keep on inflicting children unless families and parents understand the fact that they are putting their children at risk of being paralyzed”. He said, “Virus targets unimmunised children and all the five polio cases confirmed today were not vaccinated even once during routine immunization campaign”.

He appealed to parents/caregivers, elders, religious leaders, influential and society to realise the fact that polio was paralysing the children and their future. “We need to play our part to save our children from paralysis and ensure administering anti-polio vaccine during every campaign.

According to a notification of National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad issued yesterday, “Five new polio cases have been confirmed from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa out of which two each are from Bannu and Torgher while one case has been reported from North Waziristan.”

The details revealed that wild polio virus had been isolated from stool sample of 8-month boy, resident of Sedgai, UC Takhti Khel in district Bannu and 10-month boy, a resident of Kotka, UC Jhandoo Khel district Bannu.

Likewise, virus has been detected in the stool sample of a 4-year-old girl, a resident of Gaeito village, UC Harnail, Torghar, 2-year-old boy, a resident of Shaloon village, UC Harnail Torghar and 11-month girl from Zeraki village, UC Mir Ali 6, from North Waziristan.

APP adds: Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Babar Bin Atta said in a statement on Thursday that a fake drama was created against polio vaccine in Peshawar. He advised the parents to avoid considering any such propaganda against polio vaccine and vaccinate their children to protect them from polio virus.

He said that due to this fake drama, some parents of far-flung areas were reluctant to vaccinate their children. He urged polio workers and provincial health officials to pay special focus on far-flung areas of KP and asked the province to utilise all resources to eradicate polio.

He said despite significant achievements of the programme, the cunning polio-virus was still surviving and found a way of its survival, therefore special immunisation campaign was planned in all core reservoirs to kill the wild polio virus forever.

He said the government was committed and striving to hit the virus hard through this special immunisation campaign. This was top priority to focus on reaching still missed children in core reservoir through continued improvement of operations and capacitating frontline polio workers to reach and protect every missed child with the vital polio vaccine.

He stressed that parents should protect their children from virus through repeated vaccinations as each time drops were offered by dedicated polio workers during the campaign. 

He said polio was a highly infectious disease caused by polio virus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and could cause paralysis or even death.

He added while there was no cure for polio, vaccination was the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five was vaccinated, their protection against the virus was increased.

He said repeated immunisations had protected millions of children from polio, making almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.