In the second case from Miranshah, a 20-month-old boy was paralyzed by wild polio, health officials confirmed on Friday.

North Waziristan Confirms Eighth Wild Polio Case

The child had onset of paralysis on 15 May and is suffering from disabilities in all four limbs, the Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health confirmed late on Wednesday. “Following the first two cases in April, the wild polio programme took immediate steps to ring-fence this area and prevent the virus from spreading further, particularly in the historic reservoirs of Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.

Pakistan has made tremendous success against polio over the past few years, and we are taking all steps to protect the gains made by the programme,” said Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel. The Minister added that it was crucial for parents to vaccinate their children every time as every dose of polio vaccine further builds immunity.

“To prevent the virus from spreading across borders, Pakistan and Afghanistan had synchronized nationwide polio immunization campaigns from 23 – 27 May,” said Federal Health Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam Irfan.

“The cases are highlighting exactly where the challenges lie, and we are doing our utmost to ensure that the virus remains contained and we fight it till the end,” said National Emergency Operations Coordinator, Dr Shahzad Baig.

This is the eighth case in Pakistan this year, with all children belonging to North Waziristan. Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease.

Each time, a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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