Polio Surfaces Among Pakistani Immigrants in Khost

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by datguy79, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

    Sep 5, 2012
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    Immigrants from northern Waziristan are entering Afghanistan's province of Khost carrying Polio disease that has many concerned of the chances of the disease spreading throughout other parts of the country.

    Khost Director of the Public Health Department, Gul Ahmadshah, confirmed and registered three cases of polio among the Pakistani immigrants, adding that 12 others are showing signs of being infected.

    Provincial officials stress that the children from northern Waziristan have not been vaccinated since 2002 because of insecurities, Taliban threats and lack of knowledge on the disease.

    One Pakistani immigrant, Abdul Malek, said that he did not believe the vaccination would prevent or treat the disease.:shocked:

    "Our kids have not been given the polio vaccination in the past years because we did not believe the vaccine could treat our kids," Malek said.

    Although, the rate of polio disease in Afghanistan has reduced every year, there are concerns that the chances of contracting the virus will increase as Pakistani immigrants have not been treated. Ahmadshah emphasized that the disease is a risk to the entire country.

    "Presence of the polio disease is a dangerous threat in Khost and the country. This is alarming."

    There have been only nine cases of polio confirmed and registered in Afghanistan this year. Last year, 14 cases were registered; 37 in 2012; and eight in 2011.

    Nearly 30,000 Pakistani families—180,000 people—fled their homes after a massive military operation in northern Waziristan against the Pakistani Taliban and are based in refugee camps in Khost, Paktika and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Polio is a debilitating and potentially lethal virus that is contagious and spreads from person to person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the virus "enters the body through the mouth and spreads through contact with the feces of an infected person...and less commonly through droplets from a sneeze or cough." The polio vaccination protects children by "preparing their bodies to fight the polio virus."

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had warned of the increase in the number of polio cases due to the delay in providing efficient and sufficient health services to Pakistani immigrants.

    Polio Surfaces Among Pakistani Immigrants in Khost

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