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Afghanistan launches anti-polio campaign to immunize 9.9m children

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KABUL: The ministry of public health launched the vaccination for more than 9.9 million children across the country.

The ministry in a statement said that the anti-polio campaign, which is set for five-days, would provide immunization drops for the children who are under five years old. Children under the age of six months, the ministry said would receive vitamin A.  

The statement quoted the acting minister of health, Dr. Jawad Osmani as saying that despite unstoppable efforts of health workers, a large number of children are deprived of polio vaccination due to insecurity during the recent campaigns against polio. The deprivation of a large number of children from polio vaccination, Osmani said, posed the spread of disease in the society.

He called on the Afghan conflict parties to cooperate with the health employees in implementation of the campaign to protect children against this incurable disease in the country.

Vaccinators and health workers, who implement anti-polio campaigns, were selected from their own locality voluntarily by tribal elders of the area and are trustable and impartial.

The anti-polio vaccine didn’t have any side effects and it was also approved by the Ulema, the ministry said, adding that it must be received by all children in each round of the campaign.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries where polio cases are reported. Since the beginning of the year till now 56 children were infected with polio in the country, out of 38 of them are in the south region, eight from west, six in southeastern, two in east and one cases in each north and north eastern region.

Polio is a disease that paralyses and even kills and it won’t be cured, so anti-polio vaccine is the only effective and safest way to prevent children from the disease. All children must take the anti-polio vaccine till five years old.

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