8 polio-vaccination team members in Afghanistan slain: UN

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Stephane Dujarric
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United Nations–┬áThe UN is appalled by the slaying of eight workers on polio-vaccination teams in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz and Takhar provinces, a UN Spokesman said.

“We are appalled by the brutality of these killings, across four separate locations,” said Stephane Dujarric, the Chief Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Thursday.

One vaccination team member was killed in Taloqan district in Takhar province, Dujarric added. Four other members of house-to-house groups were slain in two separate incidents in Kunduz city. Two vaccinators and a social mobiliser in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province also were killed.

It is not the first time assailants have attacked vaccination teams, Xinhua news agency reported.

The UN Spokesman said nine health workers were killed during national polio vaccination campaigns in 2021. The latest attacks are the first on polio workers since nationwide campaigns resumed in November 2021.

The national polio vaccination campaign in Kunduz and Takhar provinces was immediately suspended.

“The UN extends its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these courageous health workers,” the Spokesman added.

A release from the UN mission in Afghanistan said, “Polio immunisation campaigns are a vital and effective way to reach millions of children to protect them against polio. Depriving children from an assurance of a healthy life is inhumane.” (IANS)

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