Poliovirus confirmed in environmental samples from Peshawar and Pishin
By News Desk
September 20, 2023 08:24 PM
Health authorities in Pakistan have confirmed the presence of the poliovirus in environmental samples collected from both Peshawar district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pishin district in Balochistan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel Wednesday.
The alarming discovery underscores the ongoing challenges in eradicating polio from the region and highlights the need for continued vigilance in the fight against the debilitating disease.
The poliovirus was detected in sewage samples obtained from Peshawar on September 5 and from Pishin on September 4, according to the Pakistan Polio Laboratory.
Genetic analysis has revealed that the virus is genetically related to strains found in neighbouring Afghanistan, emphasizing the transnational nature of the polio threat.
Nadeem Jan, a health official, stressed the gravity of the situation, stating, "The presence of poliovirus across any border is a threat to every child."
In response to this concerning development, a national-level polio campaign is being organized in October, with the aim of vaccinating more than four crore children across the country.
Federal Minister of Health has urged parents to ensure that their children receive the polio vaccine during this campaign.
The presence of the poliovirus in environmental samples is a cause for concern and underscores the importance of maintaining high vaccination coverage to protect children from this crippling disease.
Efforts to combat polio in Pakistan have faced numerous challenges, including vaccine hesitancy, security concerns, and cross-border transmission from Afghanistan. Health authorities remain committed to eradicating polio from the region and ensuring a polio-free future for Pakistani children.