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Thousands of children in Badakhshan miss polio vaccine amid insurgency

AT News

KABUL: A Taliban’s hostile ban has deprived 40,000 children of polio vaccination in militancy-hit Badakhshan province, officials said. Badakhshan saw one positive polio case recently this month.

A campaign to vaccine 265,000 children against polio in Badakhshan has hit snags as Taliban insurgents are preventing from its implementation, said provincial health director Noor Khawari.

The Taliban are demanding the vaccination campaign be implemented in clinics, not homes, he stated.

This pressure has led to deprivation of 40,000 children of receiving the much-needed polio vaccines in Yamgan, Raghistan, and Jurom and Wardoj districts of the province, he added.

Earlier, provincial health officials blamed the Taliban for not allowing medics to vaccinate children under the age of five in some parts of Badakhshan.

Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, has rejected the claims, saying they would “never prevent the implementation of polio vaccination on children”.

He said some families are against polio vaccination and it has nothing to do with the Taliban.

Polio is a contagious disease that affects the human mind and body and minor cases have been seen in Afghanistan.

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