Taliban's Ministry of Public Health in a press release on Thursday said that a new polio case has been reported in the Behsud district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. This brings the total number of polio cases in the country in 2023 to four, Khaama Press reported.
The Khaama Press News Agency is an online news service in Afghanistan.
The new polio case is of a 48-month-old male child who had the onset of paralysis on May 16, 2023. As per the findings of the Taliban's public health ministry, Nangarhar and the entire eastern parts of the country are facing a significant polio threat due to previous instances of environmental polio cases and the confirmed presence of the virus in contaminated water and polluted surroundings.
According to Afghanistan's provincial health officials, healthcare facilities and hygiene measures have been inadequate in the Behsud district of Nangarhar province where the polio case was recorded.
It is reported that poliovirus can survive for a significant period of time in unsanitary environments. When children are infected with the virus, they cannot be treated, often resulting in permanent paralysis or death.
Afghanistan in 2022 alone, conducted 12 polio vaccination campaigns, making it the highest number of campaigns in the world, according to Dr Nek Wali Momin, the director of National EOC.
To protect against poliovirus, vaccination alone is not enough Dr Momin said. The necessary steps should be taken to strengthen routine practices and improve hygiene facilities including safe drinking water and people's access to basic health services in remote parts of the country, according to Khaama Press.
Furthermore, acute hunger and poverty have led to worsening malnutrition conditions among vulnerable children throughout Afghanistan, paving the way for the spread of poliovirus. (ANI)