No polio case in Afghanistan in 7 months: WHO
Acting Director of Polio Eradication, Monitoring and Research at the WHO, Chris Maher and Dr Arshad Quddus, head of WHO's polio programme in Afghanistan, met with Kandahar governor Toryalai Weesa in the provincial capital.
The WHO officials hailed Afghanistan’s efforts at restricting polio virus by regularly launching anti-polio campaigns and mobilising all government functionaries and sections of society in this regard.
Maher said Afghanistan completed seven months without a polio case this year, thanks to good leadership and sustainable efforts at restricting the virus, especially in the north.
He said Afghanistan was leading in fighting the disease as compared to Pakistan and Nigeria, adding Kandahar served as a role model for southern provinces in doing away with polio.
He urged the provincial government to continue its efforts at combating the disease and assist other provinces in this regard.
Weesa thanked WHO for its assistance with Afghanistan in eliminating polio from the country, saying UNICEF and the provincial Public Health Department and his administration had been successful in their efforts to prevent an outbreak.
The governor suggested interlinking houses, mosques and schools as part of efforts to create awareness about polio disease in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a three-day anti-polio campaign was launched on Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan.
Targeting 800,000 children below the age of five years, the campaign involved 6000 volunteers in the eastern zone, said Nangarhar public health director Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzai.
One positive case each in Nangarhar and Kunar had surfaced last year, he said, adding the virus had been imported from Pakistan.
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