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10.17 Million Children in Afghanistan to Receive Polio Vaccine

Afghanistan Polio

The Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan has announced that it is kicking off the first phase of a polio vaccination campaign today, Monday, April 29th. The campaign will cover 31 of the country’s 34 provinces, excluding the provinces of Ghor, Daikundi, and Bamyan due to recent rains and cold weather.

As per the ministry’s statement, this vaccination campaign aims to immunise more than 10.17 million children under the age of five against polio.

Quoting Dr Qalandar Ibaad, the Minister of Public Health, “Our goal with this campaign is to eradicate polio with the cooperation of our partners throughout Afghanistan.

“We will work tirelessly and continue polio vaccination campaigns and complementary health services until we reach the goal of fully eradicating polio.”

Bill Gates recently urged countries to pitch in financially to fight polio, noting the ongoing uncertainty about completely eradicating the disease.

Saudi Arabia contributed $500 million, but the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reports a $1.2 billion funding gap.

Polio is a contagious illness caused by a virus. It attacks the nervous system and can lead to complete paralysis within hours.

The virus spreads from person to person, primarily through contact with infected faeces or contaminated water or food.

Early signs include fever, tiredness, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness, and limb pain. Polio mainly affects children under five years of age.

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