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Afghanistan Reports 5th Polio Case in Nangarhar

United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Afghanistan has confirmed that five instances of polio have been detected in Afghanistan since a child under five was found to have the debilitating disease in the eastern Nangarhar province. 

According to Kamal Shah Sayed, chief of the UNICEF Polio Eradication Programme in Afghanistan’s communications department, the case has been reported in the Nangarhar province’s Dur Baba region.

“The disease is feared to spread to other parts of the province, and efforts were underway to check it,” the official said.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Public Health announced the fourth polio case in the Besud district of Nangarhar province.

According to the public health ministry’s reports, Nangarhar and the entire eastern portion of the country are under a severe polio threat because of past incidences of the disease in that region and the virus’s documented presence in contaminated water and polluted surroundings.

According to Dr Nek Wali Momin, the director of the National EOC, Afghanistan conducted 12 polio immunization campaigns in 2022 alone, making it the highest number of campaigns globally. 

Acute hunger and poverty have also contributed to a deterioration of malnutrition conditions among vulnerable children across Afghanistan, facilitating the spread of the poliovirus.