Afghanistan polio case load rises to four

Nangarhar province has recorded another case of polio, bringing the number of confirmed cases this year to four.

The latest victim is four-year-old Mohammad, from the Samarkhel area in the Behsood district of the province.

Mohammad’s father said that he suddenly became weak and lost the use of his legs.

“As soon as his legs started having problems, he didn’t walk on his feet the next day, and that’s why I took him to the doctor. The doctor sent him for tests, and then he was diagnosed with this illness,” the father said.

He said that his son contracted polio after not having been vaccinated. He urged all families to prioritize immunization to prevent similar tragedies.

“Vaccination is a good thing, getting vaccinated is beneficial because I didn’t do this, and this is what happened to this child. If you don’t vaccinate [your children], you will face problems like me, and the child will be disabled, and the family will suffer,” he added.

Mohammad’s concerned brother, Amanullah, also raised concerns over the fate of his other brothers, who have also not been vaccinated.

“Mohammad was sick, and we were all upset. We thought he was going to die. All children should be vaccinated so that other children don’t get infected,” Amanullah added.

Meanwhile, local residents voiced their dissatisfaction over the polio vaccination campaign, pointing to what they say is the inadequate performance of vaccinators and a concerning number of unvaccinated children.

“Recent cases of polio show that vaccinators in remote districts and areas are not doing their job properly and not fulfilling their duties honestly,” said Wasi-Ur-Rahman Ebham, a resident of Nangarhar.

The Taliban’s public health directorate has not commented in this regard so far.

However, officials within the Taliban’s ministry of public health confirmed the fourth reported case of polio.

The ministry also cautioned that the likelihood of additional cases emerging in the near future remains alarmingly high.

Afghanistan registered the first positive case of polio in the Bati Kot of Nangarhar earlier this year.

The second case was also registered in Bati Kot, the third case was recorded in Nazian, and now the fourth case in the Beshood district of the province.