Afghanistan aims to vaccinate 5.3m children against polio

Afghanistan launched a large-scale polio vaccination campaign on Monday aimed at protecting 5.3 million children under the age of five.

The Taliban-run Health Ministry said the campaign would cover 16 of the country’s 34 provinces and last for three days.

In 2022, two cases of the wild type of poliovirus were detected in Afghanistan, according to the ministry’s spokesman, Sharaft Zaman.

Vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan often encounter difficulties due to conspiracy theories that the polio vaccination causes infertility or that the vaccinators are being used as spies.

In many incidents, polio vaccinators have been attacked by extremists.

Before seizing power over the entire country in August 2021, the Taliban had banned door-to-door vaccinations in the areas they controlled but the UN successfully negotiated with the Taliban to resume the vaccination programme across the country.

Polio is an infectious disease that can cause paralysis and lead to death.

Caleb Ijioma


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