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ED: Moving toward polio elimination

To achieve the object of polio free Afghanistan, the National Unity Government is making all out efforts by going house to house to vaccinate children of two drops of polio to rescue them from paralyzing. To help the government there are thousands volunteers who are working tirelessly to eradicate polio. They’re support with the government is very much important, and we are proud of them. Polio is a very dangerous disease and people often underestimate how important and effective the vaccine is in preventing the irreversible consequences of the disease. Most of Afghanistan remains polio-free with the circulation of the virus confined to small areas in the southern, eastern and southern-eastern parts of the country. In 2016, 12 wild poliovirus cases were reported, down from the 20 cases reported in 2015 and 28 in 2014. On cases has been reported this year so far. The unity government’s polio eradication program has made significant progress over a short period of time. It is hoped to stop the poliovirus circulation from all parts of the country soon. There is intention among government to interrupt the polio virus transmission in Afghanistan. However, insecurity has been remaining as biggest obstacles ahead of polio campaign. Public health officials termed insecurity as a major challenge to immunization campaigns. However, by maintaining program neutrality, engagement of community and negotiation at different level, health officials said they had managed to gain access to areas out of the government’s control. For instance, northern Kunduz province, which was missed for 16 consecutive months, had recently become accessible and they immediately conducted two rounds of polio campaign in the course of 20 days. This is indeed a great move. It is one of the dreams of Afghan masses to see their country a state free of polio. To achieve this goal we need financial and technical support by the international community, and the donor agencies. Afghanistan has a well-informed generation of parents who accept the polio vaccine every time it is offered to them. According to a study carried out in 2016, nearly 90 percent of Afghans recognize that vaccination is a way of preventing polio and there has been a reduction in the belief in preventing polio by using traditional medicine. This indicates that all system is in place to eradicate polio, and would soon Afghanistan become one of polio-free state. Nothing is impossible if collective efforts are there. We will be able to eradicate polio from the war-hit country. It is worth mentioning that eradication of polio is not an easy task, but the hard work of dedicated frontline workers, with strong support by central government we are closer to polio eradication than ever.




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