One more confirmed polio case has been reported in Lae, Morobe Province, according to Health Secretary Pascoe Kase.
He said there are now two confirmed polio virus cases following the first case detected on April 28 in a six-year-old boy with lower limb weakness.
“The second confirmed case is a one-year-old child presented to Angau Memorial General Hospital on July 3 with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP).
“The date of onset occurred before the first round of immunisation activities,” Mr Kase said in a statement yesterday.
He said on July 27, the Health Department confirmed that the admitted child at Angau tested positive for poliovirus and this was based on the laboratory confirmation made by the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory, a World Health Organisation laboratory based in Australia.
He said the department was awaiting final lab confirmation from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to find out if there was linkage between this boy and the first case detected also in Lae.
“The polio campaign is generating more reports from the public on suspected cases, and all reports are being followed up.
He is now advising all parents and guardians to bring their children to the nearest health centre or vaccination point for the second dose of the polio vaccine.
On Government funding for the polio response, Mr Kase announced that K2 million would be transferred to the Health Department to support the polio campaign in the affected three provinces.
He said the resourcing issues remain complex and the Government is doing everything possible to free up funds to support the program.
“At present donor support is invaluable both in terms of the provision of vaccines and in relation to logistics and technical support.
“We will continue to explore options to obtain the resources we need to see this campaign through to the end,” he said.
World Health Organisation representative Dr Luo Dapeng said the first round of the vaccination campaign has increased awareness on polio and on acute flaccid paralysis.
“Our enhanced surveillance systems in Chimbu, Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, Madang, Morobe, Western Highlands and the National Capital District have generated increasing reports of acute flaccid paralysis or AFP.
“Every report is investigated. We collect samples, and we send them to laboratory for testing.
“As of July 31, we have received 47 samples from people with acute flaccid paralysis, or AFP,” he said. Post courier
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