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Alarm bells: Kandahar records 7th polio case this year

Alarm bells: Kandahar records 7th polio case this year

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Jan 16, 2018 - 16:35

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): A 17-month-old boy has been tested positive for poliovirus in southern Kandahar province, taking the number of polio cases so far this solar yearinfo-icon to 14 nationwide.

The provincial Public Healthinfo-icon Department director told a press conference in Kandahar City, the provincial capital, that the new polio case --- the 7 th in Kandahar this year --- surfaced in Spin Boldak border district, setting alarms bells ringing for the department.

So far 14 polio cases have been recorded country-wide and the new case in Spin Boldak district that borders Pakistaninfo-icon takes the number of such cases to seven in Kandahar.  

Previously five cases have been registered in Shawalikot district, one in Spin Boldak and one in Kandahar city, the provincial capital.

Two others have been recorded in Nawzad and Nahar districts of Helmand and one in Zabul province, three in Nangarhar and one in Kunduz provinces.

Kandahar public health director Dr. Abdul Qayum Pukhla said about 1,000 children crossed the Spin Boldak border crossing and refugee families settlement in districts was another reason for the virus.

He also cited environmental problems another serious contributor to the virus spread.

He said heavily populated and impoverished areas, sub-standard bathrooms, lack of clean drinking water, bad children’s malnutrition and polluted environmentinfo-icon were problems paving ground for the polio virus to survive.

The public health official said Talibaninfo-icon’s opposition to anti-polio vaccination in a number of districts was a major reason behind the increasing polio cases.

He added the Taliban were not allowing vaccination campaigns in Shah Walikot, Nesh, Ghorak, Khakrez and Mianshin districts.

However, such problems in other districts had been resolved and a six-day campaign was underway to eradicate and prevent polio virus, he added.

Syed Kamal Shah, UNICEF’s public relations head for Kandahar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that insecurity and not implementing vaccination drives properly were behind the increasing polio case in Shah Walikot.

Anti-polio vaccination was not implemented in such areas since the beginning of the ongoing year, leaving children prone to the crippling disease.

UNICEF would take measures against polio virus and bring about reforms in the vaccination program.

sa/ma

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