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Anti-polio drive covering 5.6m children from tomorrow

Anti-polio drive covering 5.6m children from tomorrow

Feb 26, 2017 - 14:46

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The second round of a sub-national immunization campaign against polio, covering 5.6 million children under the age of five years, is set to begin tomorrow, the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) announced on Sunday.

With the help of UNICEF and WHO, the ministry will launch the campaign in all provinces in the southern and southeastern regions, most districts in the eastern zone as well as some other areas, including Kabul.

A statement from MoPH said the campaign would run for three days, involving more than 36,000 polio workers. On Friday, polio teams will revisit households where children are missed to ensure all of them are vaccinated.

The minister of public health said: “Polio causes permanent disability or even death. It is the right of all Afghan children to grow up healthy and we are responsible to ensure that all children under the age of 5 receive two drops of the polio vaccine during every campaign.”

Dr Ferozuddin Feroz added “only by reaching all children with these life-saving vaccines can we eradicate polio from Afghanistaninfo-icon for good.” The vaccine, endorsed by scholars, is safe and it does not have any side-effects even for sick and newborn children.

Afghanistan, Pakistaninfo-icon and Nigeria are the only countries in the worldinfo-icon where polio is still circulating. Two polio cases have been reported in 2017 from Helmand and Kandahar. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, down from 20 in 2015.

Most of Afghanistan remains polio-free, but wild poliovirus continues to circulate in localised geographical areas in the eastern, southern and southeastern parts of the country.



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