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    Anti-polio drive launched in border areas

    JALALABAD (PAN):  A three-day anti-polio immunisation campaign, targeting 230,000 children below five years in districts near the Pakistani border, began in eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, officials said.

    The campaign, aimed at reaching out to the children left out during the previous round, involved 1,650 health workers and volunteers, the Nangarhar public health director told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad said volunteers would be visiting houses to identify and immunise migrant children in areas near the Pakistan border. He hoped the drive would ensure elimination of the disease.

    Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardezwal sought cooperation from families living in the border region with polio teams for the sake of their children's health.

    "Every countryman is duty-bound to come forward and help health workers eradicate the menace from the country," Gardezwal said, adding that Afghanistan, Pakistan and India were the countries where polio still existed.

    The deputy governor urged the rebels not to create hurdles to health teams in their efforts at administering polio drops to children.

    A Lalpura resident, Akbar Khan, said positive cases had often been brought by families migrating from Pakistan to the border town. Two positive cases surfaced in Nangarhar in 2012.