Cricketers will campaign to eliminate polio from Afghanistan
KABUL, 16 August 2015 – The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and UNICEF Afghanistan today signed a Programme Cooperation Agreement to work together to eradicate polio in this country. Through this partnership, UNICEF and the ACB will collaborate on campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of polio vaccination as well as promote health education for children.
The timing of the Programme Cooperation Agreement is notable because today marks the beginning of a three day nationwide polio vaccination campaign (16-18 August 2015) and leaders of both organizations encouraged caregivers to vaccinate all children under the age of five.
“Cricketers are role models for the young people of Afghanistan and for their families. They are uniquely placed to raise awareness of important issues such as polio eradication, health care and education for the children of this country,” said Nasimullah Danish, Chairman of the ACB at the signing event. “The ACB is excited about this partnership. I think we can really make a difference together.”
Speaking on behalf of UNICEF, Deputy Representative in Afghanistan, Dr. Lakshmi Balaji said, “Ensuring the health of children in Afghanistan is the responsibility of all of us. Cricket and cricketers can play a vital role to raise awareness and help to stamp out polio across Afghanistan. To maintain high levels of childhood immunity against this disease requires regular polio immunization campaigns to reach every child in Afghanistan with two drops of lifesaving vaccine, every time it is offered.”
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic.