8 Polio cases in Afghanistan so far this year: Official

Kabul, Oct 10 (IANS) Eight polio cases have been recorded in Afghanistan so far this year with a new confirmed one detected recently, the country’s Public Health Ministry said on Monday.

“Investigation revealed that the case from Barmal district in Paktika province was a polio case that was genetically linked to a virus from South Waziristan (Pakistan), whereas a case from Kabul was confirmed to be negative for polio,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This brings the total number of polio cases to eight in Afghanistan during 2016,” Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

After the detection of the new case in the eastern Paktika province, bordering Pakistan, the ministry has launched two Supplementary Immunisation Activity (SIA) campaigns in recent months.

The ministry will also launch “the National Immunisation Days on October 17 to deliver oral polio vaccines (OPV) house-to-house along with de-worming tablets for children under the age of five years” throughout the country.

“Afghanistan remains one of the last three polio-endemic countries in the world. The Ministry of Public Health and partners continue their efforts toward polio eradication,” the statement added.

The ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering the efforts to stamp out the infectious disease in the country.

The only three countries where the disease is endemic are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.



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