Polio resurfaces in south Punjab
BAHAWALPUR: As a four years old minor boy from Lodhran has tested positive for polio, health authorities describe it the first such case of 2017 in Punjab. No polio case was reported in the province in 2016.
Ali Hasan s/o Muhammad Afzal of Chak 15-M, Dunyapur tehsil of Lodhran district, was admitted to the Civil Hospital here a week ago. Doctors sent his samples to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad which found them positive.
Lodhran’s Chief Executive Officer (Health) Tariq Gilani confirmed the report.
The minor was brought to the Civil Hospital on Jhangiwali Road here a few days ago for the treatment of chest infection. During treatment, doctors suspected abnormality in his right leg.
Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Rana Muhammad Yousaf said child specialist Dr Amir Malik noticed some abnormality in the movement of Raza’s right leg. According to the SOP in such cases, the MS informed the district health officials concerned in Bahawalpur who collected boy’s blood samples and dispatched them to the NIH for pathological analysis.
The MS said the findings were received by the local health officials on Thursday. As the report went public, there was panic among the civil hospital staff and parents of other minor patients.
The MS said when parents took away Hasan to their home, health officials in Lodhran were informed about the positive report.
The MS further said after the receipt of positive report from Islamabad, an emergency was declared in the civil hospital last night where a special anti-polio counter was established and all the admitted children were administered anti-polio drops. He said the immunization in the hospital would continue for another two days.
The MS said according to laboratory reports, the infant had the attack of Acute Flacid Paralysis (ACP), which could be curable after continuous treatment. The MS further stated that the Punjab government had also moved fast and decided to launch a three-day anti-polio campaign as a preventive measure in the districts of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur as the minor remained admitted here for about a week.
Answering a question, he said health authorities in Lodhran would take preventive and curable measures as well. Shakeel Ahmad adds from Multan: The district health authorities in Lodhran have requested re-investigation into the case.
Lodhran’s Health CEO Dr Tariq Gilani said though the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad had declared the boy was polio positive, he had doubts and requested for another test
“It is unbelievable as six dozes of anti-polio vaccine were administered to Hasan and other children in the same vicinity but no other child contracted the virus,” he said.