The Polio virus has been detected in an environmental sample from the Lower South Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, as confirmed by Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel.

This is the first positive environmental sample reported this year in the region, and it is genetically similar to the virus found in September 2022. In total, six positive environmental samples have been reported in the country this year.

The Ministry of Health’s spokesperson stated that the government is fully committed to eradicating polio and is implementing coordinated and effective measures to achieve that goal.

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Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel emphasized the importance of Pakistan’s effective polio surveillance system in identifying the virus. He urged parents to give their children polio drops, saying that vaccines are the only effective way to protect children from lifelong disabilities.

Patel also announced that an anti-polio campaign will begin in 70 districts of Pakistan on May 15, and in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from May 29. During this campaign, polio drops will be administered to children under five years of age.

It’s worth noting that the first case of polio in Pakistan this year was reported in Bannu district. Last year, a total of 20 cases of poliovirus were reported in Pakistan, with 17 cases in North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two in Lakki Marwat, and one in South Waziristan.

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