Four polio vaccination workers killed in Afghanistan

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 - 21:39

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Four polio vaccination workers have been killed and three others injured in separate attacks in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad, a provincial health department official said, in the latest in a series of attacks against health workers.

A wave of assassinations has hit urban centres since peace talks began between the Taliban and the Afghan government last year in Doha, many of them targeting government employees, health workers, media and civil society members.

Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

Gunmen killed three female polio vaccination health workers in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad in March. 

In Afghanistan, the campaign intends to inoculate about 9.6 million children in 32 out of the country’s 34 provinces, a health official said.

However, there remains a big stumbling block in the Afghan polio drive. The Taliban, like in previous years, would not allow the home-to-home campaign in areas under their control.