Nationwide polio vaccine launched in Afghanistan

KABUL (Khaama Press): The first National Immunization Days (INDs) for polio eradication by 2023 were inaugurated by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health on March 13, 2013, in collaboration with international partners.
According to a news release, the campaign aims to vaccinate more than 9.4 million children under five against polio in the provinces of Bamyan, Daikundi, Ghor, and a few other cold weather north-eastern regions of the country.
“The Ministry of Public health leadership is strongly committed to eradicating polio from Afghanistan’” said Dr Qalandar Ebad, acting minister of Public Health. “The recent progress made in this regard is encouraging. Right now, Afghanistan is much closer to polio eradication. Together, we can eradicate polio from Afghanistan”.
“The support of all Afghans, including parents, community leaders, ethnic elders, and religious leaders, is critical to eradicating polio. We want them to participate in the fight against polio to save Afghan children from permanent paralysis,” the Minister added.
Moreover, the campaign also provides Vitamin A to children from 6-59 months of age to improve their immunity, the statement read. Polio is a viral disease with no known treatment and is only curable through vaccination. Children who contract the poliovirus may become permanently paralyzed or possibly pass away.
This year so far, there has not been a single case of polio reported in the country. However, two polio cases were reported last year, one in Paktika and another in Kunar province.
The Ministry of Public Health recalled citizens and local authorities significant role in the country’s successful polio implementation campaign.