Through 2004, reports showed that polio incidence in Afghanistan was in decline. When the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) reported only 30 new cases in 2010, the program was widely hailed as effective and on the road to complete success. However, GPEI and the Afghan Ministry of Health reported 76 new cases at the end of 2011. The increase alarmed public health officials, who noted that some new cases were in provinces with no recent history of the disease. The recent increase of cases in Afghanistan is linked to the recent increases in Pakistan, and health officials consider the two countries to be part of the same epidemiological area.