Sunday April 14, 2024

Afghanistan reports first polio case of 2023

By M. Waqar Bhatti
May 13, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Type-1 wild poliovirus has crippled a four-year child in Afghanistan, marking it the first case of polio in Afghanistan and the second case globally this year, stated

Pakistan’s National Polio Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Islamabad.The NIH Islamabad official maintained that the polio case was reported on April 16, 2023, from Nangarhar University Hospital located in Jalalabad city and investigated by collecting two stool samples on April 17 and 18, 2023.

“This is the first WPV1 case reported in Afghanistan in 2023. Last polio case in Afghanistan was reported from Dara-e Pech District of Kunar on August 29, 2022,” the official said, adding that wild poliovirus type-1 was circulating in the environment in Nangarhar province since last many months, which also travelled to various areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

The official maintained that the recent case was reported from Sepiaw village of Batikot district. The village is in SIAs cluster 18 and is around three kilometers away from the nearest health facility named Batikot CHC.

“The village is well covered through EPI routine fix sessions. The child received had received three doses in routine immunization and more than seven doses in SIAs. However, the hygienic conditions are poor in the village,” he added.

Citing health authorities in Afghanistan, the official said health authorities conducted active case search in the nearby villages but not found any new or unreported AFP cases.The district of Batikot reported five WPV1 positive environmental samples in 2022 and seven samples in 2023. The last WPV1 positive environmental sample was collected on April 25, 2023.