Insecurity Hampers Polio Vaccination Campaign

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More than 37,000 children are being deprived of polio vaccinations in Taywara and Pasaband districts of central Ghor province due to insecurity, provincial health officials said.

“More than 25,400 in Pasaband and nearly 12,000 children in Taywara are deprived of polio vaccinations,” said Ghor health official Dr. Mohammad Nasim Dawolati.

According to Ghor health officials, the lack of security in the two districts has resulted in this delay.

However in the past few years no cases of polio have been registered in this area but concerns have now been raised – especially after two new cases where recorded in the country this week.

Maiwand Ahmadzai, head of the polio department at the health ministry said that one incident had been registered in Kabul and the other in Paktika.

This comes as ‎the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday were set to initiate a joint polio vaccination campaign across Afghanistan.

Up to nine million Afghan children under the age of five are expected to receive polio drops during the campaign.

But continued threats and insurgency appeared to have undermined previous vaccination processes in some volatile regions of the country, an issue which has increased the number of polio cases among Afghan children in certain regions.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only nations in the world where polio has not been eliminated.

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