“We are committed to cooperating with our partners to eradicate polio in Afghanistan,” Taliban Health Minister Qalandar Abbad said in a press statement. “The recent polio cases are extremely alarming, and until the disease is completely eradicated from the country, polio campaigns and other essential health services will continue.”
The minister also asked all Afghans, including parents, to join the fight against the disease that can cause paralysis and lead to death.
According to official figures, at least five cases of the wild type of polio virus have already been detected in Afghanistan this year. In recent years, there have been two cases across the country.
Vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan are often complicated by conspiracy theories that polio vaccines cause infertility or that people who receive the vaccine are being used as spies.
Before taking control of the entire country in August 2021, the Taliban banned door-to-door vaccination in the areas it controlled. But after negotiations with the United Nations, they agreed to resume vaccination campaigns throughout the country.
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