8 million Afghan children to benefit from UN polio vaccination drive

U.N. agencies and the Afghan health ministry are conducting a three-day campaign aimed at vaccinating an estimated 7.7 million children under the age of 5 against polio, which can leave patients totally paralyzed.

The highly infectious disease is still endemic in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.

The campaign, which began March 14, is the second one launched this year by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. It builds on a series of national immunization days and house-to-house vaccination schemes that ran last year.

A similar polio vaccination campaign last month targeted an estimated 2.8 million children.