Vaccines rescue nearly 3m children a year: MoPH


Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Vaccination helped save the lives of nearly three million children per year in Afghanistan, but still 1.5 million children are at risk of contracting the deadly polio disease and other fatal diseases, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

The MoPH marked World Immunization Week in Kabul with this year’s theme ‘Vaccine is Efficient’ as part of its efforts to expand access to immunization particularly in remote areas.

Dr. Bashir Ahmad Hamid, head of preventive medicine at MoPH, said: “Currently 13 types of vaccines are given to children and women through 1,910 centers against fatal diseases across the country.”

He said the vaccines rescued children from TB, paralysis, diptera, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, influenza, pneumonia and measles. The years between 2011 and 2020 have been named “the decade of vaccination.”

Hamid said vaccination campaigns helped rescue lives of nearly three million children per year, but still another 1.5 million children were at risk.

Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Afghanistan, said Afghanistan was far behind from the goals of vaccination and the country needed more struggle to achieve the goals until 2020.

He said the World Immunization Week was a good opportunity for Afghanistan to identify its problems and deal with them. Mualvi Shamsur Rahman Frotan, an Islamic scholar, said: “Awareness and encouraging people to allow vaccination to their children is important not only from scientific but from Islamic perspective, we want families to cooperate with the vaccination campaign.”

MoPH, meanwhile, announced creating real time monitoring of vaccines to protect them from being affected.