KARACHI– ‘As many as 296 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan in 2014 and 87 percent of total world wild polio cases have been reported in the country,’ it was learnt.
According to the data revealed by Expended Program on Immunization (EPI) Sindh 296 wild polio cases were reported in Pakistan in 2014, 26 in Afghanistan, six in Nigeria, five in Somalia, five in Equatorial Guinea, two in Iraq, five in Cameroon, one in Syria and one in Ethiopia. The 87 percent of global wild polio cases were reported last year in Pakistan, with the ratio being: 174 polio cases were reported from Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA)/Frontier Region, 24 from Baluchistan, 62 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 29 from Sindh and three from Punjab.
However, final polio count for 2014 is still awaited as samples collected during 2014 are yet being processed in laboratory and positive samples, if any, will form part of the case count for 2014. Report showed that Karachi is major hub of Wild Poliovirus (WPV) circulation with 23 out of total 29 cases reported across the Sindh province. The major poliovirus reservoir areas of city are District West and East Gadap. The Gadap town is most sensitive area of Karachi as 10 polio cases had been reported here town in 2014. The SITE, Baldia and Orangi are also highly sensitive towns of city. However, five polio cases were reported from interior parts of Sindh out of a of total 29 cases.
Karachi Poliovirus situation 2014: All 23 polio cases restricted to 11 out of 188 Union Councils within a radius of 25, 16 out of 26 (69.56%) are from security compromised areas, pockets of persistently missed children is localized in 13 areas, 20 cases reported from Pashto speaking areas and 3 cases from neighboring Pashtoon areas and all the 23 cases are o/o refusal (operation/hidden) refusal for R1 and campaign.
Prof M Idrees Adhi, President, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Karachi said poor administration of infectiveness vaccine, non-implementation of plan, lack of awareness and social taboo were the major reasons behind the overall failure to eradicate poliovirus in the country.
He said role of religious leaders and local dignitaries were very important and they should be taken onboard before launching any campaign in sensitive areas. He said “We can eradicate poliovirus through raising awareness and communication in the society.”
Prof Adhi stressed the need of comprehensive strategy to eradicate poliovirus in the country as many countries successfully controlled the prevalence of polio through effective planning and strategy.