Health officials announced that the polio vaccination campaign in Afghanistan kicked off on Monday and millions of Afghan children under 5 can expect to be vaccinated.
It is the first countrywide campaign that will fight polio in Afghanistan after three years.
Nik Wali Shah, the operations coordinator for the polio program at the Ministry of Health, said: “It has been decided that this campaign will be mosque-to-mosque instead of house-to-house. The Ministry of Interior has to maintain security for polio vaccination staff to launch the campaign to other provinces as well.”
The residents across the country criticized the decision of mosque-to-mosque vaccination, adding that most of the families would not be able to take their children to the mosque due to cold weather and for other reasons.
“The house-to-house program was very useful, the weather is cold now and mosques are far away for most families in some parts; because of this, most children will remain out the campaign,” said Rahmatullah, a resident of Kunduz province.
Shahed, who is a resident of Khost province, said: “The decision is not a good one to eradicate polio in the country. We ask for a house-to-house program to be restarted.”
According to health officials, the campaign will start in 14 provinces.
The Islamic Emirate announced last month to support the vaccination program which is scheduled to start on November 8 in Afghanistan.
Although polio was eliminated globally, Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan are two countries where polio cases still exist.