Poliovirus found in two other districts of Balochistan; 44 districts in Pakistan infected
The Polio Eradication Programme is facing increasing difficulties due to the lack of both infrastructure as well as consistent attempts at derailing the programme by hardliner miscreants.

at 12:03 am
POK and Kashmir News
A woman health worker administering polio drops to a child in Pakistan. pic courtesy endpolio.com.pk

Quetta, June 6: Poliovirus continues to run amok in Pakistan with authorities being helpless on how to control its spread, with the virus now being detected in the districts of Dukki and Killa Saifullah in Balochistan province. This development comes a day after samples of the virus were found in the districts of Bahawalpur and Dera Ismail Khan in Punjab province., taking the total count of infected districts to 44.

Four new environmental samples for polio have been reported due to which the number of samples in 2024 has risen to 172 as compared to 126 samples from 28 districts in 2023.

An anonymous official at the Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Era­dication at the National Institute of Health confirmed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus in the two districts of Balochistan.

Talking to the media he said “This brings the total count of infected districts for the year 2024 to 44.

“The districts from where positive samples have been repor­ted are Dukki, Killa Saif­ullah, Sibi and Swabi.” The districts of Sibi and Swabi had reported infections early in the year, increasing the count.

“If virus is found in the sewage water, the sample is called positive. It is basic parameter to determine the quality of the polio campaigns as it shows that a number of children are being missed out or there are refusals (to vaccination),” he said.

Citing reasons for the increase in the number of virus detections, the official blamed the poor performance on part of the partners-led programme during the last two seasons of 2022-23 and 2023-24 for the wide immunity gap favouring the virus spread.

According to the Pakistan Polio Programme, it has already conducted four polio vaccination campaigns and is currently conducting a fifth campaign of the year, which is underway in 69 districts since June 3, ahead of the high-travel season of Eid, to vaccinate over 17.1 million children under the age of five in 37 districts as well as select areas of 32 other districts.

However, the programme is facing increasing difficulty due to the lack of both infrastructure as well as consistent attempts at derailing the programme by hardliner miscreants, who have frequently attacked officials and spread much misinformation about the vaccination, calling it a “foreign conspiracy.”