Afghanistan Kicks Off Anti-Polio Vaccination Drive

KABUL, Sept 15 (NNN-XINHUA) – The Afghan government kicked off a five-day anti-polio vaccination campaign yesterday, a statement of the Public Health Ministry said.

Aimed at vaccinating 6.1 million children under five, the campaign’s first phase will wrap up on Sept 18, during which doctors and thousands of volunteers would have given the immunity doze against the crippling virus, to children in 20 out of the country’s 34 provinces.

The anti-polio drive was initially supposed to have launched five months ago, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Positive polio cases in Afghanistan, according to the statement, reached 46, with 32 of them in the southern region, where access to rural areas is difficult, due to security problems.

“We will not allow polio to hurt our children’s health. I ask the entire parents and caretakers of children, to welcome anti-polio teams, including doctors, nurses and volunteers, to vaccinate their children against the crippling disease,” Minister for Public Health, Ahmad Jawad Osmani said, as quoted in the statement.

Over 9.9 million children have not been vaccinated against polio, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Feb, the statement said, adding that, the first phase of anti-polio campaign covers 6.1 million children under five and the remaining 3.8 million will receive the immunity doze in the second phase of the anti-polio drive within months.– NNN-XINHUA