Afghanistan

Afghanistan on the verge of polio free: official

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KABUL, Oct 18, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Afghan Ministry of Public Health ( MoPH) launched a three day National Immuization Days (NIDs) campaign on Saturday to benefit 7.5 million children under five years-old all over the war-torn country in order to obtain the status of a polio free country.

Dr. S. Moh. Amin Fatimie, Minister of Publice Health said in a statement released here that "52,357 staffs of MoPH and volunteers will drop polio vaccines to the mouth of 7.5 million under five year old children and vitamin A capsules to 6.8 million children between the age of 6 months and five years all over the country."

The NIDs campaign is expected to achieve "high level of immunity among less than five years age children" and rule out " circulation of wild polio virus inside Afghanistan."

"With the achievement and sustaining of two targets above, Afghanistan will soon obtain the status of a polio free country," the MoPh official said.

"This is a huge operation which covers all villages of Afghanistan and provides a unique opportunity for all Afghan families to get their children vaccinated against Polio and be in contact with the health workers," Dr. S. Moh. Amin Fatimie added.

He also asked for all Afghans, health workers and health partners to provide any kind of help and support to this process so that all Afghan children could get vaccinated in the coming 3 days.

The NIDs campaign is under the technical and financial assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other donor communities.