H1N1 vaccines to arrive just as caseload
KABUL, 11 January 2010 (IRIN) - Afghanistan is set
to receive 600,000 doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine
this week just as the number of those contracting the
disease appears to be falling.
According to the Public Health Ministry (MoPH), 948
people have contracted the disease and 17 have died
since July 2009, but evidence from the past few weeks
points to a decline in the rate of spread.
Over 500 confirmed cases were reported 1-24
November, but from 24 November to 11 January only
about 110 cases were confirmed. No H1N1-related
fatality has been reported in 2010, according to MoPH,
which said the virus was under control.
But the authorities are being cautious: “Although
the influenza has been controlled effectively in the
country, we are still concerned that it could rise in
the cold season,” MoPH spokesman Farid Raaid told IRIN.
The vaccines have been pledged by Turkey (100,000
doses) and the UN World Health Organization (500,000).
They would be used to immunize the most vulnerable
people such as health workers, pregnant women and
A controversial three-week closure of all schools
and colleges was announced on 1 November 2009
ostensibly in a bid to contain the virus. Afghanistan
had reported over 320 H1N1 cases with two deaths as of
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), a
project the Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs. IRIN is UN humanitarian news and
information service, but may not necessarily reflect
the views of the United Nations or its agencies.
[This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]