The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani interacted with the governors and directors of the departments of public health and Haj and religious affairs of Kandahar, Helmand, Nangarhar, Kunar and Farah provinces via a teleconference this morning in the National Unity Center, Presidential Palace, directing them to take enhanced measures on fully eradicating polio across Afghanistan.
The President said that polio is a fatal disease and still threatens the lives of the Afghan children. He said, “There is an international consensus on eradicating polio. Afghanistan has achieved progress in eradication of polio, but this is not enough. We have to fully eradicate polio-virus.”
In his directives, President Ghani said that our people are still vulnerable to this deadly virus, highlighting that the polio-virus has not been utterly eradicated in Loya Veyalla locality of Kandahar and likewise in some parts of Nangarhar.
The President directed the provincial administration to have every child returnee vaccinated against polio. He also urged the mayor and provincial officials of Kandahar province to leave no stone unturned in implementing the polio vaccination campaign in closer cooperation with religious bodies, mosque leaders and the designated clinics.
President Ghani underscored that the polio teams operating at Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings should double their efforts in order to completely eradicate polio-virus in the mentioned provinces in coordination with the provincial administration.
The President stressed the need for initiating a nationwide campaign for eradication of polio, saying that the ministries of Education, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Public Health and Information Communication Technology should work together on preparing and producing small videos for public awareness.
The ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs was directed to get the religious scholars contribute towards the campaign by raising awareness among the public to implement the polio eradication campaign. The President singled out the integration of civil society and women networks particularly female teachers, underlining that the nationwide polio eradication campaign should be carried out all over Afghanistan.
President Ghani directed the ministry of foreign affairs to provide ease and facilities in issuing visas to representatives of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other international organizations that are working for polio eradication so that they can easily travel to Afghanistan.