Afghan capital sees 1st polio case since 2001

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials have launched a polio vaccination campaign after a young girl from Kabul was diagnosed with the disease — the capital's first case since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic. But cases have declined significantly in Afghanistan in recent years.

Dr. Kaneshka Baktash, spokesman for the Afghan Public Health Ministry, said Tuesday that a three-year-old girl from the eastern part of Kabul had contracted polio and is partially paralyzed. He said the girl had been diagnosed in Pakistan, where she was brought by her family after falling ill.

Baktash says that his ministry has launched a vaccination campaign across the capital and in the area where the girl was living.

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