AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Since polio has remained endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the two countries have started cooperation to promote their polio campaigns in a bid to fight this crippling disease. Pakistan media reported that a three-member delegation from the Afghan national polio team would pay visit to Pakistan to monitor the campaign that would be kicked off in Pakistan on January 11.
The head of Pakistan’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Dr. Rana Safdar, told Dawn that one type of virus, R4B5C, had been traveling from Nangarhar to Khyber Agency and onwards to other parts of both countries.
“We both Pakistan and Afghanistan have been declared one block. We have decided to make collective strategies for the eradication of the polio virus. Polio campaigns will be started on the same day on both sides of the border to ensure that every child is vaccinated even if he or she is traveling,” Dr. Safdar said. The teams agreed to monitor nomadic movement across the border and strengthen transit vaccination as well as holding synchronized polio campaigns over the next five months.
Moreover, national representatives from both countries will meet on a quarterly basis.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the countries in the world that have been transferring the poliovirus to each other.
After World Health Organization announced last year that Nigeria is now polio-free and has been removed from the list of the countries where police is endemic, but polio remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That means transmission of virus has never been stopped there.