9 polio cases recorded in Afghanistan this year

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 03:23 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 59 times

This year 14 wild poliovirus cases have been recorded only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a senior UNICEF official said on Monday.

 

As of 9 November 2017, nine cases were detected in Afghanistan and five in Pakistan, the lowest number recorded in history, said UNICEF’s South Asia regional director.

Jean Gough said in a statement: “The town of Spin Boldak on Afghanistan’s southern border with Pakistan is at the epicenter of the global effort to eradicate polio.”

Afghanistan’s ninth case of the year, a three-year-old boy, was confirmed in the east, close to the Pakistan border, this week. The virus was linked to transmission that occurred earlier in the year in Peshawar.

“The reality is that you can’t eradicate polio without coordination between health teams in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and a cross-border response in areas such as Spin Boldak.”

The official added: “Today, I met and saw vaccination teams in action who, day in and out, educate parents on the importance of vaccination and vaccinate children as they cross the border.”

Since January this year, more than 44,000 Afghan children under 10 had been immunized at 19 vaccination posts along the border with Pakistan and Iran, Gough concluded.