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Southern Afghanistan Marks 1 Year With No Recorded Polio Cases

“No new cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in southern Afghanistan in the last year, UNICEF said Tuesday, marking a crucial milestone in the country’s battle against the debilitating disease,” TIME reports, noting “Afghanistan is one of the three remaining countries (along with Pakistan and Nigeria) where polio is still endemic” (Katz, 11/19). “At the same time, many areas of the country still have low levels of routine immunization coverage and it is now more important than ever that we all redouble our efforts to build the immunity of children across the country with polio vaccine to stop transmission of the virus,” according to a UNICEF press release. “Efforts also continue across Afghanistan to strengthen the routine immunization system so that children are better protected from all vaccine-preventable diseases and to sustain achievements in polio eradication in the long term,” the press release adds (11/19).