UNICEF urges Afghan caretaker gov't to resume kids' vaccination drives

Xinhua , Sunday 10 Oct 2021

The United Nations children's fund (UNICEF) on Sunday urged the Taliban's caretaker government to resume children's vaccination amid fear of spreading polio and measles in war-affected Afghanistan.

Female health workers
Female health workers administer polio vaccines in Kabul. (United Nations Assistance Mission In Afghanistan (UNAMA) Official Website

"The health system is about to collapse, we have weeks, not months or years. We will have humanitarian catastrophe," UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi was quoted as saying in a statement on Twitter.

Abdi, who recently ended a four-day visit to Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, stressed the need of children access to basic healthcare, immunization, nutrition, water and sanitation and child protection services.

Quoted by the statement, Abdi called for an immediate resumption of measles and COVID-19 immunization campaigns to help protect children and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Several cases of polio and measles were reported in Afghanistan as the vaccination campaign had been affected following Taliban's takeover in mid-August.

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