No polio virus in Rawalpindi
RAWALPINDI, July 20: National Institute of Health (NIH) has given a clean chit to Rawalpindi city, as it found presence of polio virus in the city sewage as negligible, for the month of June. May had painted a different scenario.
Talking to Dawn, Director Health Dr Zafar Iqbal Gondal said for the month of May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the health department conducted joint sampling and found polio virus in Safdarabad.
Later, Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) also managed to get sewage and water samples tested from National University of Science and Technology (Nust), which also did not find the polio virus. Due to varied results, he said, the commissioner sent the samples to NIH in the presence of WHO officials which declared the samples polio-virus free.
He passed the buck on Islamabad’s slum areas as the capital’s sewer discharged into Leh Nullah and polio virus traveled to Rawalpindi.
“We already brought the matter to WHO’s attention that I-II katchi abadi and Sabzi Mandi in Islamabad was the source spreading polio virus in the garrison city, due to frequent movement of people migrating from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa,” he said.
He said I-11 slum dwellers and adjoining areas of capital would be put on priority of Islamabad’s administration.
He said the health department had sent a proposal to DCO Saqib Zafar to write a letter to Islamabad administration to intensify their anti-polio campaign in slum areas.
Dr Gondal said the health department focused on 10 union councils due to presence of a large number of people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The union councils are Ratta Amral, Dhoke Ratta, Hazara Colony, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Hassu South, Dhoke Hassu, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Bangash Colony and Khyaban-i-Sir Syed in
the city and Ward No 9-10 in cantonment areas including Peshawar Road, Misrial Road, Dhoke Mastaqeem, Dhoke Hafiz, Allahabad, Westridge, Naseerabad and adjoining areas. —