Afghanistan: Fourth polio case reported in Nangarhar

Photo: Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan.

Health authorities on Thursday, June 1, reported a poliovirus case in the eastern province of Nangarhar, which is the fourth polio case in the country so far this year.

Doctors said that a four years old child has tested positive for poliovirus in Behsud district in Nangarhar.

On May 15t the polio vaccination campaign was kicked off in 23 provinces of the country in which at least 6.4 million children under five years old will be vaccinated against polio.

This was the second round of the polio vaccination campaign in the country. The first round was conducted in January, covering over 5.5 million children.

The third case of the poliovirus was reported on May 25. Doctors said that a 2.5-year-old child has tested positive for poliovirus in Nazian district in Nangarhar.

Two other cases of the virus were also reported in Nangarhar this month in the Bati Kot and Kot districts of Nangarhar.

Local residents in Bati Kot district in Nangarhar said in May that a five-year-old child died of poliovirus in their village this month. But doctors have not officially confirmed the matter.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, two polio patients were confirmed in 2022, four in 2021, and 56 in 2020.

As of March 2023, over 500,000 people were served in health facilities and hospitals supported by WHO in Afghanistan.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on March 22, 2023, polio continued to be an international concern and issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory.

Before traveling to any destination listed, the CDC has recommended that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of a polio vaccine.

The head of the World Health Organization on Monday, May 22, said that polio remains the only official global health emergency and that last year there was an increase in the disease after “an all-time” low of only five cases worldwide in 2021.