Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_Monitoring, WHO said in a statement there have been five new wild poliovirus cases reported in Afghanistan, all from Nangarhar province. However, there have been 32 positive environmental samples to date in 2023, all in the eastern region, except for one site in Kandahar in the southern region and one from Balkh in the north.
“Although the number of positive samples in Afghanistan has increased in 2023 compared to the year 2022, this was in part due to more intensive surveillance in the country, with more sites being sampled and increased frequency of testing,” the statement said.
It said that a recent environmental detection in Kandahar in the southern region is a public health emergency with a significant risk of a large outbreak because house-to-house campaigns in the south have not been authorized.
“Any setback in Afghanistan poses a risk to the programme in Pakistan due to high population movement,” it warned.
According to the statement, there have been two cases of polio in Pakistan in 2023, both occurring in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. There have been 15 environmental surveillance positive samples in 2023 in Pakistan.