Polio refusal child Mustafa paralyzes in District Bajaur

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Ashrafuddin Pirzada

KHAR: The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC)in Islamabad Friday confirmed the fourth polio case of the year in tribal districts and said that the 30-month-old Mustafa, a resident of Bajaur district had been paralyzed with poliovirus as his family had refused to administer polio drops to him.

The national institute of Health in a press release said that they had collected the stool sample of Mustafa son Ehsan, the resident of village Sheikhan union council Tali tehsil Salarzai Bajaur District and confirmed him with polio-infected.

The press release further said stool sample from the child was collected on December 27, 2018, to check the presence of poliovirus.

The officials said isolated wild poliovirus from stools were taken and confirmed it polio case. It was the fourth polio cases registered from erstwhile FATA districts in 2018.

While 6 more polio cases were recorded from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in.

According to the local administration office in Bajaur district, the family of the child had moved from Baluchistan to Bajaur around a month before. It is said that due to the misconception by the unfortunate family that vaccine causes sterility, parents of the child had been refusing and hiding their son from vaccination during anti-polio campaigns.

A health official told this scribe that the family of the infected child had denied to administered polio vaccination to the child in the past 28 months in Balochistan.

He added that In November and December 2018 anti-polio campaigns the family reached to Bajaur and missed the anti-polio campaign as well.

Coordinator EOC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Capt (R) Kamran Ahmed Afridi says “it shocked me that a baseless misconception of a caregiver led to paralysis of another child who has the right to live a healthy and productive life”.

He said excuses could not save a child from polio if the child was not vaccinated at every anti-polio campaign. He said a child for life long disability creates life long miseries for his family, he remarked.

The official reminded the parents that though the virus was isolated from three other cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tribal Districts earlier yet they didn’t develop paralysis as the children had received full doses of polio vaccines.

The official assured parents that polio vaccines were the safest vaccines. He appealed the community people to ensure vaccination of their children every month when polio worker knocks their door. He said virus circulates from core reservoir areas and could strike any unimmunized child anywhere, he warned.

Meanwhile, a coordination Unit of Tribal Districts had conveyed an emergency meeting participated by all stakeholders and it was decided to launch the urgent campaign in response to polio case in UC Tali from Monday, January 14, 2019, where the cases emerged.