Change.org: Enlisting the Taliban in the Fight against Polio

15.01.10

Categorie: Afghanistan, Health, Una Moore |
Tags: , ,

An Afghan polio victim. NATO photo.

by UNA MOORE

Children shouldn’t die or suffer paralysis from polio, and they don’t have to, thanks to the effective and easily-administered polio vaccine. The rationale for mass inoculation seems obvious, but even the prevention of childhood diseases can become a fraught political issue in a war zone. In Afghanistan, keeping polio at bay means working with the Taliban, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

Afghan volunteers in the south and east of the country go door-to-door, village-to-village, carrying the standard vaccination toolkit, but something else as well: a letter from Taliban leader Mullah Omar sanctioning the vaccination campaign. The fight against polio has brought the Afghan government, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and at least one Taliban faction together in a fragile coalition to save children’s lives as the war drags on.

Afghanistan is one of just four polio endemic countries left in the world, and most polio deaths in the country occur in areas controlled by insurgents, where public health workers employed by the government previously faced routine threats and physical violence.

Read the rest at Change.org.

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One Response to “Change.org: Enlisting the Taliban in the Fight against Polio”

  1. [...] Change.org: Enlisting the Taliban in the Fight against Polio Admiral James Stavridis: “Terrific News” in Afghanistan Axe-SPAN: Security Efforts in Logar [...]

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