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Editorial: Wiping out polio

Children needed to be immunized against the virus to protect and ensure that they remained healthy. The parents and caregivers have to stay vigilant to ensure that their children below the age of five were immunized against the wild polio virus. Polio vaccines have no effect on the body, rather it prevent children from being human life paralyze. In Afghanistan, the endemic polio is yet to be ended. However, the government is making all out efforts to declare Afghanistan polio-free state. Every year, the government makes indefatigable efforts to cover all children under five, and make sure no children to be missed from two drops of polio vaccine. Truly appreciating and impressed with the overall commitment, dedication and courage of frontline staffers who are even don’t dither to vaccine children in militant controlled areas. Some remote areas are beset by insecurity, danger and complexity on a scale that is truly extraordinary in the delivery of public health program. But the polio staffers are going to insecure areas for sake of health. Their aim is to prevent children from being crippled. This is it. Still there are concerns over missed children during immunization rounds. Fight against wild polio is not over yet in Afghanistan. Support and cooperation by everybody is need of the hour, including the Taliban and other militant outfits. All of us have to put weight behind polio activities in all forms so as to end polio in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the Taliban insurgents have banned polio vaccination in Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province. A credible source at the provincial Public Health Department told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Taliban had warned anti-polio camping officials against implementing the camping in the district and the Spin Boldak-Chaman areas. According to source, the Taliban had demanded appointment of their men as polio staffers and remove of government-appointed individuals in the vaccination program. The warning has been official issued by the Taliban’s shadow district chief Spin Bldak, Qari Khairullah to the public health department. It is very much visible that the Taliban insurgents are playing with the children’s health for personal demands. If the group’s restriction prevailed, possible polio positive cases could increase. Indeed, it is a very bad news. Kandahar acting public health director, Dr. Mohammad Azim Zmarial, had recently confirmed registering four positive polio cases in the country. Three cases were detected in Kunduz province, and the remaining three in southern provinces including Kandahar. Taliban insurgents are the number one enemies of Afghan people. Even the group don’t’ show mercy to the children as they marred polio vaccine campaign. Taliban insurgents are a virus that must be eliminated through any ways and channels.

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