Karachi’s first polio case of year confirmed

Karachi: Health officials on Thursday confirmed Karachi’s first poliovirus case of 2015, almost a year after the last case was reported from the port city.

It was no surprise that the parents of the victim, an 18-month-old girl, had refused polio vaccination to the child. The family belongs to Waziristan and lives in Shafiq Colony, Gulberg Town, adjacent to Sohrab Goth, a predominantly Pakhtun and Afghan locality.

The latest polio case was reported from the area classified as ‘high-risk’ for polio vaccinators which implies that health workers administering polio drops in the locality can be attacked, even killed for defying a ban imposed by Taliban on anti-polio drives.

At least 23 polio cases were reported from the city last year despite repeated anti-polio drives, health officials said, explaining that the refusal-cases undo all efforts of wiping out the disease.

Polio-vaccinators expressed concerns over security lapse. The number of police escorting the vaccination teams was half than what was committed by the government.

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