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4.7m children to receive polio drops in July-August: MoPH

4.7m children to receive polio drops in July-August: MoPH

Jul 25, 2016 - 15:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) on Monday said it intended to provide polio vaccine to more than 4.7 million children during the “polio high season” (July and August).

In a statement, the ministry said it along with its partners, UNICEF and the Worldinfo-icon Health Organization (WHO), would hold concurrent polio vaccination campaigns in July and August.

“These vaccinations are particularly important for children because the months between May and October are Afghanistaninfo-icon’s high transmission season,” the statement said.

It said poliovirus was most active in warm summer months when Afghan children were most at risk of becoming paralyzed or killed. 

Altogether, the two campaigns would vaccinate children under five years of age in 135 districts with a high risk for polio throughout the country.

The first campaign runs from July 25-29. The next week the campaign will run from 1-5 August, the statement said.

Many of these districts had been missed during a campaign in March, when snow and weather made them un-accessible to teams of vaccinators.

In total, the campaign aims to vaccinate about 4.3 million Afghan children under the age of five, or about 45% of the total number of Afghan children in that age group.

“The aim of the polio programme is that not a single child is missed during these vaccination campaigns because only that is how the virus can be controlled or children can be saved from this preventable disease,” said Public Health Minister Dr Ferozuddin Feroz.

“It is especially important that all children are vaccinated this round because the risks are so high right now and children need to build a wall of immunity through repeated vaccinations.”

Polio is a crippling disease that is caused by unwashed hands or contaminated objects.


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