Poliovirus Balochistan: Over 13000 chronic refusals documented recently

12,000 refusals reported from Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah block

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Poliovirus Balochistan: Over 13000 chronic refusals documented recently

Syed Ali Shah :

In Balochistan, over 13,000 chronic refusals documented during the recently conducted anti-polio campaign. Most of the refusals documented from the sensitive block, which includes Quetta, Killa Abdullah, and Pishin districts, sources in the Balochistan health department told Quetta Voice.

The government has also formed parents’ convincing committees on the district level to convince the chronic refusals. “Religious scholars, teachers, social activists, and political figures are members of the committees”, sources informed.

“Yes, over 12,000 refusals reported from this block”, Says, Shahpur Suleman 

“Yes, over 12,000 refusals reported from this block”, Shahpur Suleman, an official of the emergency operation cell endorsed the data of the health department. Children under the age of five years are prone to the crippling virus in the country in general and Quetta block in particular.

In August 2020, over 70,000 children were missing from the campaign. However, the number reduced to 13,000 because of efforts made by the health department, emergency operation cell, UNICEF, and other concerned quarters, Mr. Shah Pur informed.

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Over 2.4 million children provided anti-polio drops in June 2021 

A 5-day anti-polio campaign conducted in all 33 districts of Balochistan in the first week of June this year. During the campaign, over 2.4 million children under the age of five years provided polio drops, Rashid Razzaq, the Chief of Emergency Operation Cell (EOC) said.

So far, Pakistan has reported one polio case in 2021. That too from Balochistan’s Killa Abdullah district. In 2012, Killa Abdullah had reported a record of 73 cases of the crippling virus. As per the environmental samples, the crippling virus still exists in the Quetta block.

Virus decreased from 100 percent to 7 percent currently

However, Mr. Shahpur mentioned that the virus decreased from 100 percent to 7 percent currently. “Samples prove of existence of the virus in Quetta block”, he stated.

In Quetta, 3,500 children are continuously missing from the polio campaign, Mr. Shahpur revealed. He said political, social, and religious influencers were engaged to convince the parents to provide polio drops for the children.

Health professionals call for an indigenous strategy to battle the virus 

Health professionals and political parties have criticized the anti-polio organizations for what they call their failure to evolve indigenous strategies to battle the virus. They are of the view that Islamabad-based strategies have not produced results rather affected the campaign.

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