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Country-wide polio vaccination drive kicks off from tomorrow: MoPH

Country-wide polio vaccination drive kicks off from tomorrow: MoPH

May 14, 2017 - 17:04

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): More than  9.5 million children under the age of five would be vaccinated against polio and over 5.7 million children aged 2 to 5 will be given Albendazole deworming tablets during the campaign that would runs until 19 May, the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) said in a statement on Sunday.

MoPH together with UNICEF and WHO, would tomorrow (Sunday) launch the second spring round of National Immunization Days (NIDs) for polio eradication in 2017, the statement said.

Public Health Minister Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz emphasised the importance of this campaign because the polio high-transmission season has started. “We must reach all children under five years of age with vaccines, regardless of where they live,” he said.

“It is critical that the safety of our committed volunteers and frontline health workers is ensured so they can successfully carry out their important duties in delivering health services to every Afghan household to protect all children from this paralyzing disease.”

The MoPH reiterated the importance of the polio vaccine for ensuring all children are protected from the crippling effects of polio.

Most countries are now free from polio as a result of immunization and Afghanistaninfo-icon is one of only three countries where polio still existed.

Fortunately, polio can be eliminated completely like smallpox. Afghanistan has made significant progress in the effort to stop polio and is accelerating efforts to ensure polio is finished for good.

This national campaign would be carried out by 67,000 polio workers who would go from house to house in their communities to vaccinate children.

On Friday of this week, polio teams would revisit households where children were missed the first time the vaccinators visited to ensure that all children are vaccinated and protected.

Three polio cases have been reported in 2017, from Helmand, Kandahar and Kunduz provinces. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, down from 20 in 2015.

Most of Afghanistan remained polio-free, but wild poliovirus continued to circulate in localized geographical areas in the eastern, southern and south-eastern parts of the country.

 Polio vaccine is safe and it does not have any side effects even for sleeping, sick and newborn children. Polio vaccines have been endorsed by religious scholars, including national and global Ulemainfo-icon.


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