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People at the heart of polio eradication in Afghanistan

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Mohammad Nasir ensures that his children and grandchildren receive the crucial drops of polio vaccine on every campaign. Parents are just some of the thousands of people who play important roles in eradicating polio from Afghanistan. © WHO/J.JalaliMohammad Nasir ensures that his children and grandchildren receive the crucial drops of polio vaccine on every campaign. Parents are just some of the thousands of people who play important roles in eradicating polio from Afghanistan. © WHO/J.JalaliThrough this series of photographs, meet religious leaders, health care workers, volunteers, vaccinators, programme monitors and parents as they play their unique roles in protecting children across the country from polio. 

Ensuring that no child is missed during polio vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan is essential to securing a polio-free future for its children, and children around the world. More than 65,000 people across the country are volunteering and working towards this goal, including parents like Mohammad Nasir, pictured here, who ensures that his children and grandchildren receive the crucial drops of polio vaccine on every campaign. 

Meet Ashoqullah, a three year old boy living with polio; Doctor Mohammad Sidiq who plays a crucial role in reporting polio cases; Hamid Ullah who brings the crucial vaccines to children; as well as campaign monitors, religious leaders, pharmacists, volunteers and parents who form the network of individuals working tirelessly to eradicate polio in Afghanistan. 

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Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Afghanistan country health profile

Regional Health Observatory

WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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