The first wild poliovirus case was detected in a 15-month-old baby boy from North Waziristan, Pakistan. It is the third case to have been reported worldwide during the ongoing year 2022.

The National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad has confirmed the type-1 wild poliovirus (WPV1) in a toddler from North Waziristan. The NIH polio eradication laboratory also confirmed another case from the Bannu district in KP, which was detected in the environmental samples collected on April 5. Both viruses detected in the samples are closely related to each other.

Pakistan reported the polio case in the country 15 months after the previous poliovirus case was reported on January 28, last year from the Killa Abdullah area of Balochistan.


Secretary Health Aamir Ashraf said, “This is, of course, a tragedy for the child and his family and it is also very unfortunate both for Pakistan and polio eradication efforts all over the world. We are disappointed but not deterred.” He further added, “The case has appeared in Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where the poliovirus was detected in the environment late last year and where an emergency action plan is already being implemented.”

According to Anti-Polio Programme, Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has badly been affected by the poliovirus after detection from the environmental samples in the last quarter of 2021. The samples of the virus were found in Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu divisions last year.

The Health Secretary also revealed that teams have deployed to conduct detailed interrogation into the case detected in North Waziristan. The emergency immunization campaigns are continued to prevent further outbreaks of poliovirus in the country.

Talking about the issue, National Emergency and Operations Centre (NEOC) Coordinator Dr Shahzad Baig said, “To address the challenges in Southern KP, the Pakistani government and its global partners have already initiated an emergency action plan to address the challenges in this part of the province.”

The province had reported as many as 22 cases of poliovirus in 2020. However, there was no wild-type virus among the detected case in KP province.