KABUL, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- A total of 40,000 children have been deprived of anti-polio vaccination due to the restriction imposed by the Taliban group in the northern Badakhshan province, Provincial Public Health Director Noor Khawari said Monday.
"A home-to-home vaccination campaign covering up to 40,000 children was prevented by the Taliban rebels who are operational in Yamgan, Raghistan, Dara-e-Khustak, Jurm and some parts of Warduj districts," Khawari told Xinhua.
According to the official, the local authorities wanted to vaccinate some 265,000 children under five, but the Taliban prevented the drive in their controlled areas and thus up to 40,000 children have missed the immunity dozes against the crippling disease.
However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban outfit, rejected the claim, saying some families deny themselves to vaccinate their children.
The government of Afghanistan kicked off a five-day anti-polio vaccination campaign in mid-September, aimed at vaccinating about 6.1 million children under five across the country. Enditem