Nangarhar health officials said that over 7,000 children will not be immunized because of threats by insurgents in some districts.
Threats Hampering Polio Campaign In Nangarhar
The third round of the spring anti-polio campaign kicked off in Nangarhar province in eastern zone on Sunday.
Nangarhar public health department said that over the next three days over 7,000 children will be immunized against the disease but that as many children will not get the anti-polio drops due to heightened threats by insurgents in the Pachir Aw Gam, Deh Bala, Achin and Nazian districts.
The department said that the campaign will be carried out by almost 4,500 volunteers.
“Fortunately with the help of the Red Crescent the number of children that did not receive the polio drops compared to last year decreased from 70,000 to 7,000 and those 7,000 children are in Pachir Aw Gam, Deh Bala, Achin and Nazian districts,” said Najibullah Kamawal, the head of the Nangarhar health department.
Meanwhile religious scholars have called on the insurgents to cooperate with the health department and allow the children to get the anti-polio drops.
“There is nothing wrong or against Islam in polio drops and those who believe it is wrong they are wrong even we have polio in UAE,” said Akhund Zada, a religious scholar.
Women’s rights activists in Nangarhar also called on mothers to ensure their children get the drops.
“Many women are in trouble with paralyzed people in their homes (because of polio) so mothers must make sure they (children) get the drops,” said Torpekai, a women’s rights activist.
However, Afghanistan and Pakistan are two countries that still struggle with polio, reported the ministry of public health.