A four-day anti-polio vaccination campaign on Tuesday kicked off across Afghanistan. The drive is expected to target 5.6 million children up to the age of five in the country against the disease.
Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry in a statement Monday said that 25,000 trained workers will administer the vaccine in the campaign collaborated with U.N. agency for children UNICEF.
“If children in an area are not vaccinated, it will create risk for other children in other parts of the country," said Public Health Minister, Ferozuddin Feroz. "We urge tribal elders, families and children health monitors to get their children vaccinated against polio, because vaccine is the only way to prevent the infantile paralysis.” .
The minister noted that the “wild virus” will soon be wiped out of Afghanistan.
While Taliban have previously banned polio drive in some areas and at times attacked the vaccinators, the ministry citing clerics emphasized that the drops are Halal. It added it the drops do not carryany side effects.
Polio disease remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the ministry, 10 polio cases have been registered since the start of 2016. The cases were reported in Kunar, Paktika, Helmand and Kandahar.