Poliovirus Samples Found In KPK

By Hira Waheed

31 May 2023

The Ministry of Health in Pakistan has confirmed the presence of poliovirus in two environmental samples collected in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The detection of the virus underscores the joint efforts being made by Pakistan and Afghanistan to eliminate polio.

Detection of Poliovirus in Peshawar

The Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health has identified the presence of poliovirus in sewage samples obtained from the areas of Larama and Naray Khuwar in Peshawar. The genetic analysis of the isolated viruses has revealed their linkage to the virus cluster currently circulating in Afghanistan's neighboring Nangarhar province.

Collaborative Efforts to Eradicate Polio

Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts between Pakistan and Afghanistan in eradicating polio. Both countries are committed to eliminating this disease, and the detection of the virus highlights the need for intensified measures.

Efficiency of Surveillance System

Minister Patel commended the robust surveillance system of the Pakistan Polio Programme, which has facilitated the timely detection of the virus in recent sewage samples. The program's surveillance system is operating efficiently, ensuring proactive measures against the spread of poliovirus.

Necessary Steps and Public Appeal

The health authorities are taking all necessary steps to combat the disease effectively. Minister Patel urged all citizens to ensure the mandatory administration of polio vaccines to their children. Vaccination remains the most effective method to protect children from the poliovirus, and its elimination is a national priority.

Confirmation of Poliovirus in Hangu:

Earlier this month, the National Institute of Health confirmed the presence of poliovirus in Hangu, KP province. Samples collected from different areas in Hangu revealed the presence of the virus, similar to the one circulating in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Minister Patel reiterated the importance of vaccinating children to safeguard them against the crippling effects of polio.

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