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First positive polio case of 2019 reported in Kandahar

First positive polio case of 2019 reported in Kandahar

Jan 29, 2019 - 15:54

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A 22-month-old girl from Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province has been infected by the poliovirus. Marking this as the first case reported in 2019 in Afghanistaninfo-icon, a statement from the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) said on Tuesday.

“This case indicates that the poliovirus is still transmitting in Kandahar and the South region. This child’s life is now changed forever. It is really sad that she will never walk properly again, therefore I call upon all of you, our Muslim parents, caregivers, community elders and health workers to work together to protect our innocent children against this disease and eradicate polio in our country,” The statement quoted the Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz as saying,

“Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure and the polio vaccine is the only safe and effective way to protect children. All children should be vaccinated against polio during each campaign, until they reach the age of five,” he said.

The minister added House-to-house vaccination was the only effective way to achieve polio eradication because it meant every child has access to vaccination. This strategy has been implemented in all countries, and has proven efficacy.  However, if parents lived in areas where there is no house-to-house campaign available, they should take their children to the local health facility for free polio vaccine.

The polio vaccine is safe, even for sick and newborn children. It is very important these children get the vaccine, because they have low immunity which makes them more susceptible to the virus.

Polio vaccination has also been strongly endorsed by national and global Islamic scholars.

Currently, Afghanistan, Pakistaninfo-icon and Nigeria are the only three remaining polio-endemic countries in the worldinfo-icon. There were 21 cases reported in Afghanistan in 2018. Of these, 15 cases were in the Southern region, while 6 cases were in the Eastern region. There is a polio vaccination campaign carried out in the Southern and Eastern Regions of Afghanistan, parents should ensure their children are hom and available to be vaccinated.

Pr/nh

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