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Experts discuss ways of polio eradication.

KABUL (PAN): New ways are being explored to eradicate the crippling polio disease from Afghanistan, a public health ministry official said on Tuesday.

Suggestions for polio eradication are being floated at a two days meeting, attended by the president advisor on health affairs and representatives of the World Health Organisation and the United Nation International Children Emergency Fund.

Dr. Tawfiq Mashal, general director of prevention medicine, told Pajhwok Afghan News 31 incidents of polio were registered in Kandahar, Kunar, Farah, Ghor and Uruzgan provinces this year, compared with 80 in 2011.

Najya Tariq, the deputy minister of public health, hailed as remarkable the decrease in polio incidence. But he said the situation in Kandahar, Helmand, Kunar, Paktia and Khost provinces remained a cause for concern.

The World Health Assembly, which was held in Geneva in June this year, asked Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan to work harder to root out the disease, she added.

"I know we are responsible for eliminating polio. The two days meeting will hopefully give us good suggestions for combating the virus," Najya added.

Insecurity, refugees returning from Pakistan and some bad traditions are the main factors militating against the success of vaccination campaigns, according to Mashal. The second round of the autumn campaign failed to cover some 22,000 children in insecure areas.

Dr. Faizullah Kakar, the presidential advisor, said the meeting would discuss the role of religious scholars, tribal elders and governors in efforts at polio elimination.

ml/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Nov 27, 2012
Words:259
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