Health

WHO welcomes Afghanistan’s decision to resume door-to-door polio vaccination

The campaign will also cover more than 3.3 million children across the country who didn’t have access to the vaccine so far

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 18 October 2021
WHO welcomes Afghanistan’s decision to resume door-to-door polio vaccination. Photo: CDC Global

The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan announced it would resume vaccinating children against poliovirus infection from November 8, 2021. 

The house-to-house campaign will be the country’s first in over three years and will also cover more than 3.3 million children across the country who didn’t have access to the vaccine so far, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Children in the age group of 6-59 months will also be provided with a supplementary dose of Vitamin A during the vaccination drive.

Sustained access to all children is essential to end polio for good, said Dapeng Luo, WHO Representative in Afghanistan. He added:

We know that multiple doses of oral polio vaccine offer the best protection, so we are pleased to see that there is another campaign planned before the end of this year.  

There has been just one case of wild poliovirus this year in the country and the vaccination drive can prevent any significant resurgence and cross-border transmission, the United Nations health agency said. 

The government has also agreed to launch a second drive in December, along with Pakistan’s nationwide polio eradication campaign. 

Afghanistan’s steps towards quick implementation of the immunisation programme is a result of the ongoing talks between the UN and the Taliban leadership, according to WHO. 

The country has assured inclusion of female frontline workers, security and safety of all health workers across the country, an essential prerequisite of the polio vaccination campaign globally, the WHO mentioned.

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