Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Afghanistan, January 2018–May 2019
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Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication — Afghanistan, January 2018–May 2019

  • Published Date:

    August 23 2019

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 68(33):729-733
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-235.04 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Since October 2016, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been the only countries with reported cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) (1). In Afghanistan, although the number of cases had declined during 2013-2016, the polio eradication program experienced challenges during 2017-2019. This report describes polio eradication activities and progress in Afghanistan during January 2018-May 2019 and updates previous reports (2,3). During May-December 2018, insurgent groups (antigovernment elements) banned house-to-house vaccination in most southern and southeastern provinces, leaving approximately 1 million children inaccessible to oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) administration. During January-April 2019, vaccination targeting children at designated community sites (site-to-site vaccination) was permitted; however, at the end of April 2019, vaccination campaigns were banned nationally. During 2018, a total of 21 WPV1 cases were reported in Afghanistan, compared with 14 during 2017. During January-May 2019, 10 WPV1 cases were reported (as of May 31), compared with eight during January-May 2018. Sewage sample-testing takes place at 20 sites in the highest-risk areas for poliovirus circulation; 17 have detected WPV1 since January 2017, primarily in the southern and eastern provinces. Continued discussion with antigovernment elements to resume house-to-house campaigns is important to achieving polio eradication in Afghanistan. To increase community support for vaccination, collaboration among humanitarian service agencies to address other urgent health and basic needs is critical.
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