The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Polio vaccination campaign to cover over 9 million children countrywide

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has informed of launching a polio vaccination campaign that will be implemented across Afghanistan. It is determined that the campaign will cover 9.4 million children under five across four zones of the country.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Sharafat Zaman said the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with international partners, launched the national polio vaccination campaign.
“This national polio vaccination campaign aims to vaccinate over 9.4 million children under the age of five against polio,” Zaman said, adding that Vitamin A will also be administered to all children from 6-59 months of age to improve their immunity.
He said that the campaign would cover all the provinces, except Bamyan, Daikundi and Ghorprovinces and some remote districts due to cold weather.
Meanwhile, acting Minister of Public Health assured of eradicating polio from Afghanistan as recent developments in this regard have increased hopes for fully eradicating the virus in the country.
“The leadership of the Ministry of Public Health is strongly committed to eradicating polio from Afghanistan,” said Dr. Qalandar Ebad, the acting Minister of Public Health.
“The recent progress made in this regard is encouraging. Right now Afghanistan is much closer to polio eradication. Together we can eradicate polio from Afghanistan,” he said.
“The support of all Afghans, including parents, community leaders, ethnic elders, and religious leaders, is critical to eradicate polio and we want them to take part in the fight against polio to save Afghan children from permanent paralysis,” Ebad added.
According to the MoPH spokesperson, since the starting of 2023, no cases of polio have been recorded in the country. He said that in 2022, only 2 positive cases of polio were recorded in Paktika and Kunar provinces, showing a great reduction in cases of polio compared to 56 cases in 2020 and 4 in 2021.
The country’s ministry of public health is calling on community leaders and influenced figures to further cooperate with the polio vaccination teams to administer two drops of the vaccine to all children under five years of age to ensure they are completely protected against polio.
It is the responsibility of all to fight against polio to have a polio-free Afghanistan.
It is worth mentioning that poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of five. Most know it as poliovirus. The virus is spread from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine.
Unless we eradicate polio, within 10 years, as many as 200,000 new cases could occur around the world each year. In the past few years, only two countries have reported cases of polio caused by the wild virus, but no child anywhere is safe until we’ve vaccinated every child.
Samiullah Momand

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.