Afghanistan | News | Influential religious scholars in Farah province declare their support for polio eradication

Influential religious scholars in Farah province declare their support for polio eradication

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ulama1Kabul 5 December 2016 – Over 70 ulama (Islamic scholars) gathered in a conference in Farah province on 26 November to express their support for polio eradication. The Islamic scholars called on all caregivers to vaccinate their children against polio during every vaccination campaign and to cooperate with polio workers, emphasizing that polio is an incurable disease that can only be prevented through immunization.

At the end of the one-day conference, the ulama committed to spreading messages about the safety and benefits of the polio vaccine to their communities, for example during religious sermons on Fridays.

“Children are the future of our society. If we do not pay attention to their health throughout their childhood, they cannot contribute to our society in the future. The prevention and treatment of diseases are accepted issues in Islam, and if a person knows that he has an illness and would not want to be treated or take measures to prevent the illness, this is considered to be sin,” said Mufti Shamsurahman Frotan during his speech focusing on children’s rights.

“There are many fatwas that declare polio vaccine to be completely halal and allowed in Islam. We should all cooperate and support the polio eradication programme because this crippling disease can be prevented and eradicated only through vaccination,” said Mawlawi Samiullah Raihan.

ulamafarahLocal officials, including the deputy governor of Farah province, spoke about the importance of polio vaccination and asked the ulama to cooperate in spreading of health messages to communities while calling on all Farah residents to ensure their children are vaccinated.

Following a successful national ulama conference on polio eradication held in Kabul in February 2016, similar conferences have so far been held in Nangarhar, Kunar and Kandahar provinces where the Ulama expressed their support for polio eradication.

Polio has been eradicated in most countries but it remains endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. So far in 2016, 12 wild poliovirus cases have been reported in Afghanistan from Kunar, Paktika, Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

Religious leaders around the country continue their support for polio eradication to ensure that every child under the age of 5 is reached during every vaccination campaign.

Related link

Polio Eradication Initiative

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Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
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Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

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