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19 polio positive cases so far this year: MoPH

19 polio positive cases so far this year: MoPH

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Oct 24, 2019 - 17:11

KABUL (Pajhwok): Nineteen positive polio cases have so far been registered this year countrywide, with officials blaming the conflict, Afghans’ traveling to Pakistan and lack of awareness for the virus existence.

Dr. Musa Zewar, deputy Public Health Minister, said positive polio cases had reached 19 this year in the country and the most (eight) cases were detected in central Uruzgan province.

Five cases were detected in Helmand, three in Kandahar and one each in Paktika, Kunar and Nangarhar provinces this year, he told a gathering marking World Polio Day. “The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, travel of Afghans to Pakistan, and lack of public awareness regarding polio vaccination are responsible for the survival and spread polio in the country,” said Zaiwar. He said on international level polio existed only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said polio drops were administered to children at Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings before entering Afghanistan while Afghan children entering Pakistan given polio drops by Pakistani officials. Zaiwar said the World Health Organisation will continue working in Afghanistan until the deadly virus was eradicated. UNICEF Polio Branch Director Leorance said the purpose of marking this day was to highlight achievements made for prevention of polo and what else was needed to be done in future. The envoy assured UNICEF continued support to Afghanistan in fight against polio. nh/ma

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