Afghanistan to Trial New Strategy

‘Permanent’ polio vaccination teams

In efforts to find new ways to reach children that live in areas plagued by insecurity, Afghanistan is preparing to send out Permanent Polio Vaccination Teams. These teams are formed by members of local communities and tasked with vaccinating every child under five living within their jurisdiction once every quarter. They will travel from house to house on an ongoing basis and will therefore be able to visit children whenever a lull in insecurity allows.

By their nature, the permanent teams will have the opportunity to build rapport with the communities within which they are working. The strategy is designed to work in tandem with other supplementary immunization activities and with routine immunization. Team members have already been recruited for two districts of Kandahar Province and three districts of Helmand Province (southern Afghanistan), while recruitment for two districts in Farah Province in the west is currently under way. If the strategy is successful, it may be replicated in other areas facing similar challenges.

By their nature, the permanent teams will have the opportunity to build rapport with the communities within which they are working. The strategy is designed to work in tandem with other supplementary immunization activities and with routine immunization. Team members have already been recruited for two districts of Kandahar Province and three districts of Helmand Province (southern Afghanistan), while recruitment for two districts in Farah Province in the west is currently under way. If the strategy is successful, it may be replicated in other areas facing similar challenges.

Related resources


Related News

   15/01/2018
To eradicate polio, we need to stop all strains of the virus, including vaccine-derived polioviruses. This short animation explains how these rare virus strains emerge and how to stop them.
   15/01/2018
Update on polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan for December 2017
   09/01/2018
We join Dr Urs Herzog, Rotarian, polio eradicator, National PolioPlus Advocacy Advisor for Rotary Switzerland and polio survivor himself, as he explains the financial costs of the programme and why it is critical that we eradicate every trace of the virus.
   29/12/2017
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is partnering with institutions in seven countries to help document and disseminate knowledge from the polio programme
   21/12/2017
Carolyn Sein, Technical Officer for the GPEI programme, talks to us about circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses, and the important differences between oral polio vaccine, and inactivated polio vaccine.
   21/12/2017
Professor David Salisbury, chair of the Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis, talks us through the process of certifying the world as polio-free, and the importance of containing the virus after eradication.