Afghans work to stem polio rise amid violence, pandemic
Added 04-08-21 03:03:01am EST - “Afghanistan is trying to inoculate millions of children against polio after pandemic lockdowns stalled the effort to eradicate the crippling disease. But the recent killing of three vaccinators points to the dangers facing the campaign…” - Washingtontimes.com
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan is trying to inoculate millions of children against polio after pandemic lockdowns stalled the effort to eradicate the crippling disease. But the recent killing of three vaccinators points to the dangers facing the campaign as turmoil grows in the country.
The three women were gunned down in two separate attacks on March 30 as they carried out door-to-door vaccinations in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
It was the first time that vaccination workers have been killed in a decade of door-to-door inoculations against the children’s disease in Afghanistan. Such attacks have been more common in neighboring Pakistan, where at least 70 vaccinators and security personnel connected to vaccination campaigns have been killed since 2011.
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Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries in the world where polio is still endemic, and both have seen a disturbing increase in cases in recent years. In Afghanistan, 56 new cases were reported in 2020, the highest number since 2011, when 80 cases were registered.
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