Karzai appeals Taliban not to hinder anti-polio drive
22 September, 2012
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai appealed the insurgents on Friday to avoid hindering efforts at vaccinating children against polio disease.
A statement issued from the Presidential Palace quoted Karzai as saying the first round of the autumn polio vaccination drive has been launched on Sunday when he administered polio drops to several children.
He said children of age five and below could fall prey to the crippling disease if not given polio vaccine. "Fortunately, we have vaccines which can protect our children from various diseases," he said. The president asked the people to give more attention to vaccinating their children than other routine tasks. "If you have an important job to do, first take your children to a health centre for vaccination than do the job."
He said polio was as dangerous disease that could kill and render children disabled. He said parents would be responsible if they did not cooperate with polio teams. The president also urged ulema, prayer leaders, tribal elders and school teachers to help health workers implement polio drive and encourage families into giving polio drops to their children.
Turning his face to the Taliban, Karzai said: "I call on you not to hinder polio drive in villages because it will risk the lives of children if they do not receive the drops. It is the responsibility of all of us to make the anti-polio campaign a success."
According to the Ministry of Public Health, 80 positive cases have recently been detected in Afghanistan.