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Anti-polio drive: 34,000 children left unvaccinated in Nangarhar

AT-KABUL: The deputy chief of public health department in Nangarhar province said on Tuesday that the health teams failed to vaccinate 34,000 children, under age of five, against polio.

Dr Muqadesa Meraj said that last year 62,000 children were deprived of polio vaccination. In 2015, the vaccination teams failed to administer anti-polio drops to children in Haska Maina, Lalpoor, Achin, Chaparhar and Bati Kot districts of Nangarhar. The health department cited insecurity as a major and only reason for leaving 62,000 children unvaccinated.

She said that last year in Chaparhar and Bati Kot districts, around 28,000 children were deprived of vaccination. They will be covered during the ongoing campaign.

She added that during the four-day anti-polio campaign the health teams would cover 62,700 children. “Unfortunately, still 34,000 children will be deprived of vaccination in Haska Maina, Achin and Lalpoor districts. Last year eight cases of polio were recorded. Since start of this year we have no reports about any positive polio case,” the deputy health director said.

Speaking about changes in the policy, she said that this year the health department has hired locals to be part of the anti-polio drive which would produce good results.

Rohullah Maskuni, a resident of Char Dara district, said that no one in his district was opposing the anti-polio campaigns but scores of children were deprived of vaccination in the past.

Urging militants to allow the health teams to administer anti-polio drops to children, he suggested that door-to-door campaign would cover all children.

It is worth to mention that about 13,000 children were left unvaccinated in some remote parts of the restive Kunar province.

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