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Friday, April 12, 2024

Three Female Polio Vaccination Workers Killed In Nangarhar, Afghanistan

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

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani is a senior journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Transcontinental Times.

AFGHANISTAN. Nangarhar: On Tuesday morning, three women working for a polio vaccination campaign were gunned down in two separate attacks across the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, officials reported.

Less than a month ago, three female media workers of Enhikass, a local TV mainstream in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar, were gunned down by unknown armed men. According to local journalists, the gunmen were as young as 20 to 22 years-old.

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On Tuesday around 11:30 am local time in the Majboor Abad area of Jalalabad’s 4th District, unidentified gunmen killed a female worker of the polio vaccination campaign.

Following the first incident, the second happened in less than an hour when a group of gunmen killed two other female workers of the campaign in Lal Qasim Agha area in Jalalabad’s PD7, security officials said. No group, including the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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According to the local hospital officials, the three workers were identified as Basira, Samina, and Negina. The officials however refrained from making comments on the tragic incidents. 

The news came soon after Afghanistan began its new solar year’s first polio vaccination campaign across the country on Monday.

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Read also: Three Afghan Female Journalists Shot Dead

Afghan officials said that Afghanistan places roughly at the top of globally reported poliovirus cases in the past nine years. UNICEF reported 56 new cases of poliovirus in Afghanistan in 2020. According to UNICEF, 2020 was a bad year for Afghanistan.

The campaign is expected to cover 9.6 million children under five years of age in the country. The Acting minister of public health Waheed Majroh called on religious scholars, tribal elders, and war parties to pave the help for polio vaccination nationwide.“We call on all sides to create the environment so that every child is vaccinated against polio,” he said.

Afghanistan stands as the most affected country from poliovirus in the world after Pakistan. So far this year, there have been about two dozen polio cases in the country, the ministry said.


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