Photo: WHO

Polio vaccination campaign launched in northern Afghanistan

The Taliban’s Ministry of Public Health has announced that a polio vaccination campaign has been launched in the northern regions following a countrywide campaign.

The campaign in the north began on Monday in the provinces of Balkh, Jowzjan, Samangan, Sar-e-Pol, Faryab, and Uruzgan and will immunize children under five.

Two years after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, health experts are concerned about the potential for polio outbreaks due to restrictions on immunization programs.

In 2023, at least five positive cases of polio have been registered in the eastern Nangarhar province.

According to WHO’s Global Eradication Initiative, polio remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease. While most polio cases are asymptomatic, the virus can cause paralysis or death. Although there is no cure, the disease is preventable through safe and effective vaccines.