UN announces a nationwide campaign to immunise Afghans against polio for the first-time in many decades.

Unicef, the children’s agency said that they have the support of all the Taliban to start the project in November.

Agency stated that the Taliban would also permit female personnel to join the campaign, as well providing security to the team.

The militant group has been against vaccination in the past. They falsely claimed that it was part of a Western plot to sterilize Muslims.

  • BACKGROUND : What’s changed in Afghanistan during the past 20 years
  • ANALYSIS: Under Taliban rule, a new order has begun

Unicef announced that it would target nearly 10,000,000 Afghan children below the age of 5 years with a house-to-house vaccination campaign. It began on 8 November.

According to the World Health Organization and Unicef, this campaign will be the first to reach Afghan children for three years.

“This will be a major step in our fight against polio. To eliminate polio completely, every child in every household across Afghanistan must be vaccinated,” Hervé Ludovic de Lys, Unicef representative in Afghanistan, said.

According to the UN, it also accepted a second campaign for polio vaccine coordination with an identical project in Pakistan.

Following the declaration of polio-free Africa last year, it is only now that this disease exists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In recent years, militant attacks against immunisation campaigns have claimed the lives of many.

Children younger than five years of age are more likely to be affected by polio. Sometimes, this can lead to permanent paralysis. If breathing muscles are damaged, it can lead to death.

Although there is no cure for polio, the vaccine can protect children throughout their lives.

Source: BBC.com

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