The Afghan Public Health Ministry launched a five-day nationwide immunity vaccination campaign on Monday targeting 9.9 million children under the age of five, the Ministry said in a statement.
During the campaign, which is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), vitamin A capsules will also be given to over 8.9 million children aged between six months and five years, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Vitamin A helps to build a child’s immunity and reduces the risk of diarrhoea, respiratory infections and measles. It also improves a child’s chance of survival by 12-24 per cent,” the statement read.
The drive was launched after a fresh polio case was detected in Afghanistan in late June, taking the number of confirmed poliovirus cases, since January 2018, to nine.
But the ongoing insurgency and conflicts have been hindering the efforts of stamping out the infectious disease in the mountainous country.
Around 1.2 million children from inaccessible areas will miss the ongoing vaccination drive but we are making continuous efforts to reach these children and protect them from permanent paralysis due to polio, the statement noted.