Afghanistan

Status: affected by wild poliovirus type 1 and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2

Afghanistan is affected by ongoing endemic wild poliovirus transmission. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is focusing on reaching every last child in Afghanistan with vaccines, strengthening surveillance and maintaining political commitment, financial resources and technical support at all levels.

Polio this week in Afghanistan

  • No wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported this week. There are two cases reported in 2022. There were four cases in 2021.
  • One WPV1 positive environmental sample was reported in Kunar.
  • The total number of cVDPV2 cases in the country remain 43.
  • Kunar, along with the rest of the country’s Eastern Region, is part of one of three, critical cross-border epidemiological corridors with Pakistan, the northern corridor specifically comprising of Eastern Region and central Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.  Case response is currently being planned in the immediate area and the broader corridor.  The other two cross-border epidemiological corridors are the southern corridor, comprising Quetta Block of Pakistan and Southern Region, Afghanistan; and, the central corridor, comprising southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South-East Region in Afghanistan.
  • Of note, in 2022, the central corridor had multiple WPV1 detections from polio cases and environmental samples, mainly from southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • Districts along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the three epidemiological corridors are at high-risk for poliovirus transmission, given the high proportion of zero-dose children and inconsistent quality of polio vaccination campaigns in some areas.
  • The Pakistan and Afghanistan polio programmes continue to coordinate on surveillance and vaccination activities through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Support Hub, based in Amman, Jordan.

International Health Regulations

Afghanistan is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with WPV1 and cVDPV2 with potential risk of international spread. It is therefore subject to temporary recommendations as of 15 June 2022.

 Travel advice

WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.

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