KABUL - An estimated 6.1 million children will be reached in this week’s major polio vaccination campaign in the country.
A major polio vaccination campaign was launched this week and health officials hope to reach 6.1 million children in 21 provinces.
The campaign, which is focusing on children under the age of five, started Monday and will last for five days.
Provinces in the south, east and center of the country will be focused on.
Earlier this month, thousands of children were vaccinated against the polio virus in Shahwalikot as a result of an agreement between the UN and Taliban members responsible for health.
In 2017 the district of Shahwalikot in Kandahar province recorded five new cases of polio, the highest number in any district in the world, said Toby Lanzer, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan in a statement at the time.
Lanzer said the polio virus spreads very quickly, and it was crucial for a series of at least three mass vaccination campaigns to take place to prevent the disease from reaching more children in the area.
Shahwalikot is one of the most insecure regions in the southern Kandahar province.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has said the practice of preventing children from being inoculated against polio in insecure regions of Afghanistan is concerning.
Polio is incurable and the vaccine is the only way to protect children against it. During winter months the virus doesn’t circulate as easily and immunizations are particularly effective.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the three nations in the world where polio has not been eradicated completely. (Tolo News)