Indonesia Dispatches 10 Million Polio Vaccines to Afghanistan

Thu Mar 07 2024
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JAKARTA: In a gesture of solidarity and humanitarian support, the Indonesian Agency for International Development (Indonesian AID) has dispatched a vital vaccine assistance comprising 10 million doses of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) to Afghanistan.

The vaccine assistance was ceremoniously sent off by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati from Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday.

Minister Marsudi emphasized the dire humanitarian situation prevailing in Afghanistan, where the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has estimated that 23.7 million Afghans are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. With the country grappling with inadequate health infrastructure and being categorized as polio-endemic, the provision of polio vaccines becomes crucial to safeguarding vulnerable populations from infectious diseases.

Indonesia’s Capabilities of Polio Vaccine Production

Highlighting Indonesia’s advanced capabilities in polio vaccine production, Minister Marsudi underscored the nation’s commitment to assisting Afghanistan in its fight against the disease. The vaccine, produced by state-owned pharmaceutical holding PT Bio Farma, represents Indonesia’s dedication to supporting global health initiatives and addressing humanitarian crises.

Minister Indrawati elaborated on the significance of the vaccine assistance, noting that it will contribute to Afghanistan’s vaccination program, aiming to cover 3.3 million children under the age of three. The dispatch of vaccines aligns with the objectives of Indonesian AID, which was established to extend solidarity to fellow developing nations and uphold international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Expressing gratitude to all parties involved in facilitating the provision of assistance, including UNICEF, Minister Marsudi reiterated Indonesia’s unwavering commitment to supporting the people of Afghanistan during these challenging times.

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