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.

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