New polio case traced to refusal

PESHAWAR, March 29: A new case of polio has been reported in the semi-tribal Frontier Region of Lakki Marwat, as parents continue to refuse vaccination of their children in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

Deputy director of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Jan Baz Afridi told Dawn on Tuesday that an 18-month-old boy Shaban, son of Aslam Khan, tested positive for poliomyelitis at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad.

Shaban, of village Zawara Mella Gabba Shadikhel of tehsil FR Lakki Marwat, did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine because his parents would not allow that, he said.

With the new case, the total number of polio cases in the country reached 24, 12 of them in Fata, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, four in Balochistan and five in Sindh.

Mr Afridi said that 21,844 children missed the vaccine during the March 7-9 polio vaccination campaign because their parents spurned the vaccinators. Majority of the refusal cases were reported from Kohat, Hangu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and all other areas adjacent to the Fata.

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[Note from SaneVax:  Come on, people – over 21,000 children unvaccinated and only one case of polio. Yet the article claims this case occurred because of vaccine refusal? It couldn’t possible have anything to do with the vaccinated children shedding poliovirus could it? No, of course not—if medical consumers were aware of poliovirus shedding after taking polio vaccine, it may decrease compliance even more.]

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