Afghanistan launches 4-day polio vaccination campaign


The campaign, which got underway on May 15, intends to immunize 6.4 million kids in 23 provinces of Afghanistan….reports Asian Lite News

Afghanistan’s Taliban-led Ministry of Public Health on Monday announced a four-day polio vaccination campaign across 23 provinces of Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported.

The campaign, which got underway on May 15, intends to immunize 6.4 million kids in 23 provinces of Afghanistan. Afghanistan on Sunday reported its first death due to poliovirus in 2023 in Nangarhar, reported Tolo News.

The Ministry of Public Health reported two cases of polio in Nangarhar. A spokesman for the Health Ministry, Sharafat Zaman Amerkhail said that these two cases have been reported in the Koot and Batikoot districts of Nangarhar province. One polio-stricken child has died.

“In these two cases, one child is four years old and the other is 11. One of them lost their life,” said Amerkhail.

Family members of the child who died in Batikoot district said that one year ago, their child was infected with polio and was paralyzed from the neck down and after severe diarrhoea died in the hospital. The child was named Nazo, reported Tolo News.

“Her neck became paralyzed. She couldn’t control it. We took her to the hospital and on the night of Eid she died,” said Iqbal Shah, the grandfather of Nazo.

“After this disease (polio), her feet become tiny. Her stomach become acidic, she lost control of her neck and she couldn’t digest food,” said Zarmina, the mother of Nazo.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, the Health Ministry has confirmed the detection of wild poliovirus in an environmental sample from South Waziristan district in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

The wild poliovirus type 1 was isolated from a sewage sample collected from the Qureshi Mohalla area of the district on April 19, the Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The virus is genetically linked to poliovirus found in a sewage sample collected from the same district in September 2022, it added.

The Pakistan Polio Eradication Program is conducting tests for poliovirus at 114 fixed environmental sites in the country every month, said the statement as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

“To further enhance surveillance in high-risk areas, it has also been collecting additional sewage samples from multiple sites in southern KP periodically, and this latest detection is from one such collection site,” according to the Ministry. (ANI/IANS)

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