KABUL, 14 September (BelTA - Xinhua) - The Afghan government kicked off a five-day anti-polio vaccination campaign on Monday, a statement of the Public Health Ministry said.
Aimed at vaccinating 6.1 million children under five, the campaign's first phase will wrap up on Sept. 18 during which the doctors and thousands of volunteers would give the immunity doze against crippling virus to children in 20 out of the country's 34 provinces, the statement added.
The anti-polio drive was initially supposed to launch five months ago but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Positive polio cases in the war-battered Afghanistan, according to the statement, has reached 46 with 32 of them in the southern region where access to rural areas is difficult due to security problems.
"We will not allow polio to hurt our children's health. I ask the entire parents and caretakers of children to welcome anti-polio teams including doctors, nurses and volunteers to vaccinate their children against the crippling disease," Minister for Public Health Ahmad Jawad Osmani said as quoted in the statement.
Over 9.9 million children have not been vaccinated against polio due to COVID-19 outbreak in February in Afghanistan, the statement said, adding that the first phase of anti-polio campaign covers 6.1 million children under five and the remaining 3.8 million children will receive the immunity doze in the second phase of the anti-polio drive within months.