Thousands and thousands of Afghan youngsters have been vaccinated throughout the first nationwide built-in measles and polio marketing campaign in Afghanistan because the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) got here to energy in August 2021, the World Well being Group (WHO) stated Thursday.
Afghanistan has vaccinated 5.36 million nine- to 59-month previous youngsters in opposition to measles whereas 6.1 million infants to 59-month-olds acquired oral polio vaccine throughout the vaccination drive held from 26 November to 12 December.
Primarily based on the info from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Well being Expanded Programme on Immunization, the marketing campaign lined 329 districts in all 34 provinces of the nation – with 4,341 vaccination groups of 4 members on every crew.
“It warms my coronary heart that we have been capable of shield Afghan youngsters from measles and polio as we enter the tough winter season within the nation”, stated Luo Dapeng, the World Well being Group Consultant in Afghanistan.
“I thank all of the well being staff, companions and donors who made this attainable”.
Measles is a harmful illness, with problems that may embody extreme diarrhea and dehydration; pneumonia, ear and eye problems; encephalitis or swelling of the mind; and loss of life.
This yr, many outbreaks have been reported in Afghanistan, principally amongst youngsters beneath age 5.
There is no such thing as a particular therapy for measles and the one dependable safety from measles is vaccination.
“Whereas measles is extremely contagious, additionally it is a preventable illness”, stated Dapeng. “We should not lose the a long time of progress we now have achieved in immunizing and defending Afghan youngsters”.
As of November, 5,484 circumstances have been confirmed, with roughly 300 deaths attributed to measles an infection.
Previous to the nationwide drive, a sequence of subnational measles immunization campaigns have been performed in 141 districts overlaying roughly three million youngsters.
“The measles vaccine is protected and has been in use for greater than 50 years”, the senior WHO official stated.
“The advantages of vaccination are clear, as proof reveals measles vaccination saved over 23 million lives worldwide over the previous 20-year interval”.
WHO and the UN Youngsters’s Fund (UNICEF) supported the measles marketing campaign in Afghanistan with vaccine procurement and supply and the event of immunization tips and communication supplies.
The UN companies additionally helped to construct the capability of well being staff to handle and implement the drive and be sure that all eligible youngsters are protected via protected and efficient vaccines for measles and polio, WHO reported.