The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that “a victory against polio in Afghanistan is a victory for the world” in a tweet. It confirmed new cases of polio in some polio-free countries, including the United States and the UK.
“As long as polio is anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere,” the WHO said in its tweet on Sunday, November 06.
So far, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries that have failed to eradicate the polio virus. Insecurity and insurgency are the main hurdles against polio eradication in the two neighboring countries.
The Taliban did prevent polio vaccination in territories under their control before the group returned to power in August 2021. Still, some of the group’s local authorities reportedly create hurdles for polio vaccination in the countryside.
This year, Afghanistan has recorded two cases of polio disease.
According to the WHO, Afghanistan recorded 56 cases of polio in 2020 but the number declined to four cases in 2021. Despite the challenges of insecurity in the country, the WHO still emphasizes that Afghanistan has an extraordinary opportunity to eradicate polio virus for now.