Over 11 million infants vaccinated in Afghanistan against measles, polio

Over 11 million infants vaccinated in Afghanistan against measles, polio
26 / 12 / 2022
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

Afghanistan has vaccinated 5.36 million nine- to 59-month old children against measles while 6.1 million infants to 59-month-olds received oral polio vaccine during the vaccination drive held from 26 November to 12 December.

Based on the data from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health Expanded Program on Immunization, the campaign covered 329 districts in all 34 provinces of the country – with 4,341 vaccination teams comprised of four members on each team.

This year, many outbreaks were reported in Afghanistan, mostly among children under age five.

“While measles is highly contagious, it is also a preventable disease”, said Luo Dapeng, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Afghanistan. “We must not lose the decades of progress we have achieved in immunizing and protecting Afghan children”.

As of November, 5,484 cases were confirmed, with approximately 300 deaths attributed to measles infection.

Prior to the nationwide drive, a series of subnational measles immunization campaigns were conducted in 141 districts covering approximately three million children.

“The measles vaccine is safe and has been in use for more than 50 years”, the senior WHO official attested.

“The benefits of vaccination are clear, as evidence shows measles vaccination saved over 23 million lives worldwide over the past 20-year period”.

“It warms my heart that we were able to protect Afghan children from measles and polio as we enter the harsh winter season in the country”, said Dapeng. “I thank all the health workers, partners and donors who made this possible”.

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