Afghanistan Receives 26 Tons of Lifesaving Vaccines

The European Union (EU) Humanitarian Air Bridge flew in a shipment of over 26 metric tons of vaccines to support Afghanistan’s expanded immunisation programme, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was an initiative by the European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Afghanistan is one of the countries where 1 in 2 children are not fully immunized, making the battle against preventable diseases like measles, rotavirus or polio, while responding to the COVID-19 cases, extremely critical,” said Ahmad Jawad Osmani, Acting Minister of Public Health.

“During this pandemic, Afghanistan cannot afford to face additional outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Osmani emphasized.

In Afghanistan, the pandemic is straining human and financial resources, further weakening the health system, and disrupting its routine services. Just this week, polio cases were reported in provinces where they had previously been eradicated from.

Also, due to lockdowns, and mothers’ fears of infection, visits to health care centres are declining. This disruption of routine immunization services, even for brief periods, will result in increased numbers of susceptible children, and raises the likelihood of outbreak-prone vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) such as measles.

The Humanitarian Air Bridge includes vaccines, and vaccine related supplies that will protect children from diseases such as polio, pneumonia, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough amongst others.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Tuesday, June 18 2020