In Kabul, Afghan and U.S. Officials Mark Efforts To Eradicate Polio

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 25, 2009
President Karzai Participates in Inauguration Ceremony of Polio Immunization Campaign

Related Content: Special Representative Holbrooke briefs the press on the Secretary's recent trip to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. Deputy Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone marked the final round of Polio Eradication National Immunization Days on November 15 with a ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul.

The program is designed to encourage Afghans to vaccinate their children under the age of five against polio. Afghanistan is one of only four remaining countries with endemic polio. During the ceremony, President Karzai and Ambassador Ricciardone both administered polio vaccination drops to a number of children.

Afghanistan is prone to virus transmission because of a broad border with Pakistan and movement of the people across the border between the two countries. Cross-border coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan is in place and several steps have been instituted to further strengthen the coordination. These include synchronizing campaign dates, data sharing, regular meetings, and the establishment of permanent vaccination posts at crossing points on the border.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a partner with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to achieve a polio-free country and supports the World Health Organization in improving the quality of vaccination campaigns. USAID also supports UNICEF in disseminating polio messages and raising awareness for introducing polio eradication strategies. Read more about USAID's work in Afghanistan.



New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

This is probably the most under-reported humanitaran effort in the world today, as it was in Iraq, and one the Taliban and al-quaida can't spin to their advantage with populations.

Beyond the obivous benefits of a healthier population over the long term, the moms and dads of Afghanistan have one less thing to be afraid of for their children.

It demonstrates the level of concern, commitment, and resonsibility of a government towards its people, and that the internatonal community shares the same mindset, and intent.

I think it may be useful for folks here thinking about health-care reform to reflect on the fact that we are also engaged in co-creating a health-care system from scratch in Afghanistan in partnershp with the Afghan gov.


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