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Positive polio case registered in Helmand

AT News Report

KABUL: A new polio case has been surfaced in a 9-year-old child in Garmser district of southern Helmand province, health officials said Monday.

The child has been permanently paralyzed, said spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Amir Jan Rasekh, adding polio vaccine hadn’t been administered to the child.

This case brings to 13 the number of polio cases surfacing in Afghanistan in 2019. Out of 13, five cases have been reported from Helmand province.

“More than 43,000 children under five live in this area who haven’t been provided with polio drops over the past one year,” said Rasekh.

Abdul ShokorNasrat, immunization program head for the southern zone, told Voice of America (VoA): “The detection of this new polio case shows that this disease continues to threaten many children in the southern zone.”

“The number of positive cases in the south reaches 11 and it shows a big danger is looming. Besides the endemic existence of the virus, the open Pakistani border is a factor behind the increase in polio cases.”

Sayed Kamal Shah, spokesman for polio department of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said the increase in polio cases of the southern zone had sparked many concerns.

Kamal Shah insisted that the existent opportunities should be availed to fight the polio virus and prevent children’s paralysis in Afghanistan.

So far, since the beginning of 2019, Afghanistan has reported 13 positive cases of polio – of which five has occurred in Helmand, four in Uruzgan, three in Kandahar and one in Kunar.

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