PESHAWAR: A one-year toddler in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lakki Marwat has tested positive for polio virus, making it the first confirmed case of the year 2020.
The Polio Emergency Operation Center’s report stated that the National Institute of Health confirmed polio virus in the child after results from his stool samples returned.
Reportedly, the child was given a single dose of the anti-polio vaccine during a routine immunisation and another three doses in a special campagin against the disease.
The family, however, has denied receiving vaccinations.
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A total of 136 WPV (wild poliovirus) cases were reported in Pakistan last year with K-P leading with 92, Sindh 25, Balochistan 11 and Punjab 8. Another 18 children tested positive for circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2).
The anti-polio campaign in Pakistan faces difficulties with parents reluctant to get their children vaccinated. Cases of non-compliance often go unreported as health workers face difficult choices in remote areas where kinship can often place them under severe pressure.
Over a million families in K-P alone refused to administer anti-polio vaccines in December 2019 alone due to negative narrative around the vaccines.