Afghanistan | News | Measles–polio campaign in Afghanistan reaches 5.6 million children

Measles–polio campaign in Afghanistan reaches 5.6 million children

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A young boy receives a measles and polio vaccine in a school yard, surrounded by other children, health workers and volunteersAbout 27 000 health workers, volunteers and community mobilizers fanned out across 17 provinces of Afghanistan in a drive to eradicate measles and polio from the country under a WHO/UNICEF-supported government campaign10 July 2012 – WHO supported the preparation and launch of a vaccination campaign drive integrating both measles and polio vaccine. More than 5.6 million children between the ages of 9 months and 10 years received one dose of measles.  Children up to 10 years old were administered anti-polio drops.

As part of the measles and rubella initiative, Afghanistan has committed itself to eliminating measles by the end of 2015.

The country started its first measles elimination drive in 2001 through a nationwide campaign, and two follow-up anti-measles campaigns were implemented in 2006 and 2009. In light of the lower routine measles coverage and frequent outbreaks of measles, the Ministry of Public Health decided to conduct an anti-measles campaign this year.

Although the elimination of measles remains a priority in the national health agenda, funding constraints only allow for the coverage of 17 out of 34 provinces in the country. WHO, the Ministry of Public Health and partners are calling on donors to cover the remaining provinces in the next phase.

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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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