UN News Service
March 21, 2011
Health-care workers in Somalia today began a three-day, United Nations-backed campaign to vaccinate more than 1.8 million young children against polio, four years after the Horn of Africa country was declared to be polio-free.
The new campaign, which is being carried out by local health authorities in concert with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as well as other international partners, aims to reach every eligible child in the country, despite the insecurity plaguing many regions and the inaccessibility of some areas.
Marthe Everard, WHO’s representative for Somalia, noted that the last recorded case of polio in Somalia was on 27 March 2007 after years of intense international efforts to combat the disease in the strife-torn country.
“This shows that polio can be eradicated everywhere, even in the most challenging and difficult settings,” she said.