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Polio vaccination drive kicks off amid security threats

Polio vaccination drive kicks off amid security threats

Jul 23, 2017 - 15:50

JALALALABAD (Pajhwok): Security hurdles still exist in the way of a polio vaccination campaign in eastern Nangarhar province, where 13,000 children may be left out again, said officials on Sunday.

A three-day drive kicked off in the province on Sunday to administer polio drops to children under 5. Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Mirwais Shaheen said about 1,050,000 children would be covered across the eastern zone.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, he said 700,000 children in Nangarhar alone would be covered. He added security challenges in the province could deprive 13,000 children under 5 of polio drops.

“This huge number of children in insecure areas, such as Pachiragam, Shinwari and other areas may not get the polio drops,” the official suggested.

His department personnel and Afghan Red Crescent Society’s volunteers would strive jointly to administer polio drops to as many children as possible. The security issue would soon be resolved, he joped.

Meanwhile, Nangarhar Hajj and Religious Affairs Department official Gul Nabi said the polio vaccination was permitted by Islam. He urged all families to let their children be vaccinated.

He said mosque leaders in all districts had been asked through special letters to help vaccinators during the campaign and persuade people to allow their children to be vaccinated.