Focus on unvaccinated children as anti-polio drive begins
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Some 340,000 children in three restive districts of eastern Nangarhar province could not be administered polio drops, public health officials said on Tuesday.
However, vaccinators have been able to implement anti-polio campaign in two other districts that were left out of previous drives for reasons of insecurity, authorities said.
Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Muqadasi Miraj told Pajhwok Afghan News insecurity prevented past campaigns from covering 62,000 children in the five districts.
But now the number of such cases in Haska Mina, Lalpura, Achin, Chaparhar and Batikot towns has come down to 32,000. About 28,000 unvaccinated children in Chaparhar and Batikot will be inoculated during the campaign that started today.
“Across Nangarhar, 627,000 children will be administered anti-polio drops during the four-day campaign. But 34,000 minors in Achin, Lalpura and Haska Mina will be left out due to insecurity there,” she said.
In 2015, eight polio cases were reported in Nangarhar, but no incident has been reported this year. “We have appointed locals to vaccinate children easily in their respective areas, a step that will hopefully yield positive results.”
Roohullah, a resident of the Chardara area of Batikot, hoped the large number of unvaccinated children in the district would be covered by the ongoing drive. “No one here impedes vaccination. A door-to-door campaign must be implemented here.”
A tribal elder from the Shinwari zone, Bacha Khan, confirmed that many children had been left out of anti-polio campaigns over the past two years in several areas of Achin, Spinghar, Haska Mina and Nazyan districts.
Earlier, Governor Saleem Khan Kunduzi said they had negotiated with tribal elders from some areas to facilitate the campaign.
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