SWABI/PESHAWAR  - Two polio workers were killed on Wednesday when their team came under gun-attack in Swabi’s Parmoli area. On other hand, new cases of poliovirus have surfaced in Sindh, Balochistan & KP.

Swabi’s District Police Officer Imran Shahid said that some unidentified men opened fire at the polio team while they were on duty. As a result of the firing, a lady health worker died on the spot while the other was severely injured, the DPO said.

The injured lady health worker was rushed to Kalu Khan Hospital. She was later shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, where she succumbed to her injuries during the course of treatment, according to LRH Medical Director Dr Khalid Masood.

Police have collected three bullet shells from the site of the shooting, the DPO pointed out, adding that security in the area where the incident occurred was not on high alert list. Taking notice of the attack, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi to submit a report on the incident. He further directed police to take strict action against perpetrators of the attack.

 

Attacks on polio workers have been common in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and this has been dubbed as one of the biggest hindrances to the eradication of polio from the country.

 

Last year, the government formed the National Strategic Advisory Group (NSAG) to tackle polio eradication. The NSGA has representatives from leading political parties who have worked on polio eradication programmes in previous governments. The broad-based body was constituted in consultation with Prime Minister Imran Khan and is led by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza.

 

Meanwhile, three new cases of poliovirus have been reported from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Wednesday increasing the number of infected children to six in current year.

 

The officials of the health ministry confirmed that a 26-month-old child was detected with poliovirus in Jumo Agham union council of Sindh’s Ratodero. The blood sample of the child had been collected on December 24 last year.

 

Another case was reported in KP where an 11-month-old child found infected with the disease in Tank district. Sources said the parents of the child had rejected to administer the anti-polio vaccine to the infant.

 

Sources said the first case of poliovirus in Balochistan during 2020 was also included in the latest figure. A 20-month-old child fell victim to the poliovirus in Sikandarabad Union Council of Balochistan’s Dera Murad Jamali. The sample of the child’s blood was collected on January 3 which confirmed presence of the infection.