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    Anti-polio drive launched in east

    JALALABAD (PAN): A three-day polio vaccination drive, targeting 771,000 children of age five and below, was launched in eastern Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman and Nuristan provinces on Sunday, officials said.

    The campaign that involved 5,500 volunteers would not be extended to Kamdesh district in Nuristan due to security concerns, Nangarhar Public Health Director said.

    The vaccination campaign has been jointly funded by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Rotary Club, Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad said.

    He said his department had conducted 13 such drives during the ongoing Afghan year. The drives included eight nationwide, four across the eastern zone and one in border districts.

    Two positive polio cases ---one in Lalpura district of Nangarhar and another in Dangam district of Kunar --- had surfaced so far this year, taking the number polio cases nationwide to 58.

    Health officials say 663 imams and instructors had been appointed to emphasis on the importance of polio vaccinations at mosques and schools.