KABUL: Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that anti polio campaign kicked off Monday, which through polio vaccination teams will visit 5.4 million children under five years old in 179 high-risk districts across the country.
According to a statement the campaign will be launched from 21th to 25th of January in the West, Central and Southeast regions, and from 28 January to 1 February in the South and the East regions.
“We will have five vaccination campaigns for the first half of 2019, we are using this time to build immunity among our people”, says the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz.
He said that “we need to work together to end polio for the world. My fellow Afghans, you are all playing a role, and we need to help each other, open our doors, get our children vaccinated. Our children are innocents and rely on us to protect them from preventable paralysis. We cannot let them down.”
Parents should plan to have their children at home and available to be vaccinated during the campaign, he added.
All children under five should receive the polio vaccine, including newborns, sleeping, sick, and visiting children. Children who miss the vaccination should visit their local health center as soon as possible, where the vaccine is available free of charge. The polio vaccine is safe, even for sick and newborn children, he noted.
He said that it is very important these children get the vaccine, because they have lower immunity which makes them more susceptible to the virus. Repeated vaccination is crucial for children to build up immunity against the virus.
Polio vaccination has also been strongly endorsed by national and global Islamic scholars.
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure for polio. The polio vaccine is the only safe and effective way to protect children. All children should be vaccinated against polio during each campaign, until they reach the age of five.
Currently, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the only three remaining polio-endemic countries in the world.
The Ministry of Public Health urges parents and caregivers to ensure no child misses the vaccine, as this is the only protection from polio and permanent paralysis.