The Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday announced the registration of 6 new polio cases, bringing the total number of polio cases among Afghan children to 11 this year.
The Health Ministry said that the main reason behind the spike in cases is that children are not vaccinated.
According to Ministry of Public Health, new cases of polio were registered in Kandahar, Badakhshan, Balkh and Herat provinces.
‘’Earlier we registered five cases of polio in Helmand, Zabul, Nimroz, Laghman and Farah provinces,” said Dr. Gula Khan Ayoub, the head of the public awareness department at the Ministry of Public Health.
“Unfortunately, one case was reported in Kunar during the current year--there are 170,000 children eligible for vaccination in Kunar,” said Gul Mohammad Bedwar, the deputy governor of Kunar province.
The Health Ministry has said that it couldn’t carry out a vaccination campaign during March and April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We registered 5 cases in the south during the current year,” said Abdul Qayoum Pakhla, the head of the polio vaccination task force in the south.
“If there is no cooperation from the parents, the people and the opponents, we will witness more positive cases of polio,” said Baseer Ahmad Afzali, an official of Ministry of Health.
There are 10 million children under the age of 5 in Afghanistan who are eligible for vaccination, but the Ministry of Health says that two million of them remain deprived of polio vaccine because of war and security threats.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries on earth where polio still affects victims.