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5.6 million Children to be vaccinated against polio in high-risk areas

5.6 million Children to be vaccinated against polio in high-risk areas

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Feb 26, 2017 - 14:17

Kabulinfo-icon 26 February 2017 - The Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon, together with UNICEF and WHO, will tomorrow launch the second round of Sub-National Immunization Days (SNIDs) campaign of 2017 in high-risk areas to vaccinate 5.6 million children under age of five against polio. The campaign will be conducted in all provinces in the Southern and South-eastern regions, most districts in the Eastern region as well as selected high-risk districts across the country, including Kabul city.

The campaign will run for three days, during which over 36,000 polio workers will go from house to house in their communities to vaccinate children. On Friday polio teams will revisit households where children were missed the first time the vaccinators visited to ensure that all children are vaccinated and protected.

“Polio causes permanent disability or even death. It is the right of all Afghan children to grow up healthy and we are all responsible to ensure that all children under the age of 5 receive two drops of the polio vaccine during every single vaccination campaign. Only by reaching all children with these life-saving vaccines can we eradicate polio from Afghanistaninfo-icon for good,” said H.E. Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health.

Polio vaccine is safe and it does not have any side effects even for sleeping, sick and newborn children. Polio vaccines have been endorsed by scholars including national and global Ulemainfo-icon.

Afghanistan, Pakistaninfo-icon and Nigeria are the only countries in the worldinfo-icon where polio is still circulating. Two polio cases have been reported in 2017, one from Helmand and one from Kandahar. In 2016, 13 polio cases were reported, down from 20 in 2015. Most of Afghanistan remains polio-free, but wild poliovirus continues to circulate in localized geographical areas in the eastern, southern and south-eastern parts of the country.

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For more information:

Dr Maiwand Ahmadzai, Director of National Emergency Operations Center for Polio Eradication, maiwand.aa@gmail.com; +93 79 926 2724

Mohammad Ismail Kawusi, Director of Public Relations Department, Ministry of Public Health, mi_kawusi@yahoo.com; +93 70028 1111

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