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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


LOPEZ-GONZALEZ, Juan M.  and  TUELLS, José. Vaccinology in armed conflicts: a punctual intervention in poliomyelitis eradication in Afghanistan. Gac Sanit [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.3, pp.244-247. ISSN 0213-9111.

The situations of armed conflict suppose a handicap for the eradication of the poliomyelitis due to the difficulties to access the susceptible population. In Afghanistan, after the military operation which put an end to the Taliban regime, Spanish military sanitarians made an intervention in order to immunize the children of the zone where they were conducting their mission, against poliomyelitis. After having solved planning and logistic problems, two rounds of vaccination with IPV were made. A local translator helped to fill out a questionnaire about the state of immunization in that zone, providing information regarding the socio-demographic data of the children that showed up, their immunization status, their knowledge about vaccines and the efficacy of the various social mobilization activities utilized. 293 and 321 children were vaccinated in two different rounds. Very few of them had received a prior vaccination (10%) and they showed very little knowledge regarding immunization. Parents didn't involve themselves in the campaign, and knowledge about it was achieved better with the use of posters (70%) than with the use of radio ads (10%). Immunization is a health initiative that helps to improve the chances for peace.

Keywords : Poliomyelitis; Immunization; Afghanistan.

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