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    35 polio cases detected in south, east

    KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Thirty-five cases of polio have been detected in southern Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul provinces, public health officials said on Sunday.

    Twenty of the cases were found in Kandahar alone, said Public Health Director Dr. Abdul Qayyum Pukhla, who launched a three-day anti-polio vaccination drive in the province.

    Another 14 cases were detected in neighbouring Helmand province and one in Zabul, he said, linking linked the increasing polio incidence to lack of parental cooperation with campaigners.

    He also blamed dishonest health workers and the ongoing wave of insurgency and influx of people from the border region for the higher number of polio cases.

    During the three-day drive, he said, more than 1.3 million children below the age of five years would be vaccinated against the crippling disease.

    Meanwhile, health official said an anti-polio campaign was underway in eastern provinces, where two positive cases have been found this year.

    The cases had surfaced in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. The two infected children belonged to families who had recently returned from Pakistan's tribal region, said Dr. Sher Mohammad Sherzad, Nangarhar Public Health Director.

    He identified one of the infected children as Sher Mohammad, a resident of Lal Pori district of Nangarhar. The four-year-old was brought to the provincial civil hospital, he said.

    Another child identified as Rashid Khan from Dangam district of Kunar province.

    Sherzad said recovery of the children was not possible.

    He informed that so far 41 positive cases of polio have been surfaced across the country this year.

    The Public Health Ministry planned to launch a vaccination campaign in border districts of Nangarhar and Kunar next Saturday, he said.