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Editorial: Crippling disease

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So far, Afghanistan remains polio endemic. But significant progress was made here, where transmission is well controlled in the southern endemic part of the country. We have rare cases of polio positive, but comparing to last year its high. Pakistan is also endemic and have more cases then Afghanistan. According to UN statistic, 34 new cases were recorded last year, 28 in Pakistan and six in Afghanistan. However, Afghan health officials blame the issue on a lack of security and the negligence of families in vaccinating their children against the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has meanwhile called on Afghanistan and Pakistan to accelerate their anti-polio drive. Recently, President Ashraf Ghani in a meeting with Public Health Ministry officials called for the full elimination of polio across the country. During meeting, challenges and developments ahead of polio implementation campaign discussed. President said challenges must be identified, and remote areas should be considered and also a clear and comprehensives analysis must be done in this regard. All the related institutions have to come up to the fore to effectively implement and expedite the polio eradication program. A serious and urgent action with coordination with local authorities is need of the hour to successfully eliminate polio. Fortunately, the first round of polio vaccination in Kandahar has been completed successfully with reaching 43,000 children. In 2017 the district of Shahwalikot province saw five cases of polio, it is the highest number. We should not forget that polio virus spread very quickly, and based on health officials, it is crucial for a series of latest three mass vaccination campaigns to take place to prevent the disease from reaching more children in the area. Polio can paralyze child hours of exposure. Polio is a highly infections virus that effect mainly youth children. The virus is transmitted person-to-person and mainly through a fecal-oral route or through contaminated water or food. The global campaign to eradicate the disease being in 1988, when estimated 350,000 polio cases reported in 125 countries. If not wrong, now leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan, the rest are polio-free countries, including Nigeria. Polio is a wild virus, to fight it there is dire need of two drops of ant-polio vaccine. Children must be immunized against this virus to protect and ensure that they remained healthy. Firstly, the parents and caregivers have to stay vigilant to ensure that children below the age of five were vaccinated against this crippling disease. Secondly is the duty of everyone—scholars, local commanders in the provinces, tribal elders, and even the militant groups to let vaccine staffers to drop polio to the children. To wipe this out, the polio fighters have to make all out efforts to reach every child, making sure no child is missed. At the same time a great salute and appreciation to overall commitment, dedication and courage of frontlines staffers who are couldn’t dither to vaccine children in militants controlled areas with sole aim of elimination of polio once and for all.