78,000 kids to be missed out on polio vaccine
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): As many as 78,000 children could be missed out on anti-polio vaccination campaign in eastern Nangarhar and Kunar provinces due to security concerns, an official said on Sunday.
Nangarhar is the only province in the eastern zone where six more polio cases have been found. Officials say the new cases were found in children to families returning from Pakistan.
A new anti-polio campaign targeting 966,000 children in the eastern zone was launched on Monday.
Dr. Ashraf Ahmadzai, general director for polio vaccination campaigns, told Pajhwok Afghan News said a total of 87,000 children, including 69,000 in Nangarhar and the remaining in Kunar province, could not be administered polio drops due to insecurity.
Public Health Director Najibullah Kamawal said six more polio cases had emerged in the province and the victims belonged to Achin and Haska Mina district.
He asked Taliban militants to allow health workers to give polio drops to children in order to save them from disabilities. He said two polio infected children in Shinwari district belonged to an insurgent who did not allow the drops to be administered to his children.
Naveed Shinwari, a resident of Achin district and a civil society activist, said militants had been controlling parts of the district where entry of polio vaccination teams was not allowed. He said militants should allow apolitical and health related activities in their areas.
Pajhwok Afghan News reporter during a telephonic conversation with Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid asked him about the ban on polio vaccination, but he rejected they had ever banned polio vaccination in their areas.
Police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said polio vaccination campaign was smoothly underway in areas under government control.
The provincial health officials urged ulema and civil society activist to play active role in spreading awareness about polio vaccination in their areas.
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