Fresh polio cases reported in Afghanistan


Two new cases of polio have been detected in Afghanistan’s southern Uruzgan province.

The Ministry of Public Health confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

“With these two new cases, the total number of polio cases in 2019 reaches 15 in the country, all of which were reported from inaccessible areas. Fourteen of the 15 polio cases have been reported from the south,” the ministry said.

Poliovirus could be rapidly transferred and the only preventable way was vaccination, the statement said.

However, ongoing conflicts have been hindering the efforts to stamp out the infectious disease in the country.

Globally, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria are the remaining countries yet to be declared free from polio.

Last month, Nigeria moved closer to being certified polio-free after authorities declared three years without the detection of the viral polio disease. The virus was last detected in the country’s northeastern state of Borno in August 2016.

As a result, Nigerian health authorities said a certification process had commenced ahead of declaring a polio-free country by March 2020, if the situation remains the same.

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