Polio vaccination campaign begins in western provinces

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The Ministry of Public Health expects that almost 10 million children under the age of five will get vaccinated as part of the Polio vaccination program now underway.

The implementation of the worldwide polio vaccine campaign is thought to be especially crucial this year, given the country’s record of a positive polio cases.

As part of the program, more than 700,000 children have been vaccinated in Herat alone.

“Fortunately, it has decreased compared to previous years, and all of this is because of the situation. We now have a good security situation in our country,” said the head of vaccination in Afghanistan’s western region, Abdul Wahid Rahmani.

“This year, a case of polio has been recorded in our country, so the threat of polio is still existent for the children in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, deputy head of the public health department of Herat.

Meanwhile, polio vaccination campaigns have also begun in the country’s western areas.

According to health officials, no children in the country’s west would be denied polio vaccinations during the campaign.

“In this round of the campaign we are targeting 180,489 children, and we will try to ensure that no children are left out of vaccination,” said Mohammad Asef Qanet, head of the public health department of Badghis.

This year there have been two confirmed cases of polio, one in Paktika province and the other in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.

A number of citizens in the country’s southern regions are concerned about the spread of the polio virus and have asked the Ministry of Public Health to initiate a public polio vaccination campaign.

“Before this, vaccinators were going house to house and now they go to mosques. Our problem must be heard, because many children are deprived of the vaccine,” said Shah Mahmoud Hamdard, a resident of Uruzgan.

The only nations where the polio virus has not been eliminated are Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Polio is a fatal illness that can be spread from person to person without treatment. Vaccination is the only way to avoid getting the illness.

At least eight health workers–including four women–were shot and killed in separate attacks by unidentified gunmen in the northern provinces of Kunduz and Takhar, sources close to the matter said.

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