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4 positive polio cases surface in Shah Walikot this year

4 positive polio cases surface in Shah Walikot this year

Dec 19, 2017 - 20:35

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Shah Walikot district of southern Kandahar province is considered the most dangerous area for infantile paralysis as of the total 12 positive polio cases surfacing this year four were detected in the district.

Many areas of the district are under Taliban’s control and as a result polio vaccination could not reach children over the past few months.

UNICEF Polio Eradication Program spokesman, Sayed Kamal Shah, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 12 positive polio cases had so far surfaced in the entire country this year.

“Of the cases, five cases were found in Kandahar, including four in Shah Walikot and one in Kandahar city, the provincial capital. Two cases emerged in Helmand (one in Nawzad and one in Nehar-i-Siraj districts. One positive case occurred in Zabul, three in Batikot district of Nangarhar, and one in Kunduz.”

According to him, considering these cases, Shah Walikot becomes the most ‘dangerous’ area not only on Afghanistan level but on global level.

Kamal Shah said the increasing polio cases in Shah Walikot were due to insecurity, lack of vaccination drives and lack of public awareness.

He said no polio vaccination campaign could be implemented this year in the province. “If vaccination doesn’t reach all children, the threat of polio becomes serious.”

“The most worrying issue is the circulation of the poliovirus. And as people mostly visit Kandahar from various zones of the country, then the transfer of the virus to other parts is likely.”

He cited travelling of people between Afghanistan and Pakistan as another reason for the increased polio incidents because the virus existed in the neighboring country.

An official at Kandahar Public Health Department said polio incidents surged in Shah Walikot after insurgents prevented vaccination campaigns. “Taliban have banned vaccination and they want their own fighters to be employed as vaccinators.”

Kandahar deputy governor, Abdul Hanan Munib, said they had always set up coordination gatherings for preventing polio incidents.

“We have invited all district chiefs to another coordination meeting to be held soon on resolving the current issues in vaccination process in order every child is administered the drops.”