A three-day polio vaccination campaign kicked off in Afghanistan's eastern and southern regions with local officials calling for insurgent groups to allow the vaccination teams to do their work.
In the east of the country, the provinces Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan were targeted in the vaccination drive aimed at eradicating polio - a condition easily prevented with an immunization administered by mouth.
Head of Nangarhar's Health Department Baz Mohammad Shirzad said that the plan is for nearly 800,000 children aged under five to receive the anti-polio drops in the three provinces, adding that a measles vaccination programme will also be applied to children aged between 9 months to 10 years in Kunar province.
Meanwhile, Kandahar Media and Information Center (KMIC) said on Saturday that a three-day polio vaccination drive is underway in the southern Kandahar province to vaccinate 1,365,000 children aged under five.
At least 10 positive cases of polio have been reported in south since the start of 2012, the KMIC said via Twitter. Four of these cases were in Kandahar.
It also said that the Director of Health in Kandahar had asked the Taliban fighters and "other rival parties" to "help the vaccinators reach the far villages of the south".
Separately, government officials in the tribal Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of Pakistan warned parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will be fined, according to local media reports.
The warning comes after a Pakistani Taliban commander called for a boycott last month on the region's polio drive as long as the US drone strikes continue.
The leader's statement also said that US intelligence agency CIA may use the polio campaign as cover for espionage, much as it did with Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped track Osama bin Laden.
However, local health officials said that there would be financial penalties for Pakistani parents, and deportation for Afghan nationals or refugees, who do not vaccinate their children, Central Asia Online reported.
Officials said religious leaders had been brought on board to accompany the vaccination drive and encourage parents to allow their children to get drops.
Poliomyelitis is a disease affecting the central nervous sytem, and has been eradicated from most countries in the world, according to medical journals.