Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Halt in Polio Vaccination Draws Condemnation

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Halt in Polio Vaccination Draws Condemnation

Article excerpt

Representatives of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the Syrian Arab Republic condemned the interruption of a polio immunization campaign there last month due to intense fighting.

Following an outbreak of polio in the Syrian Arab Republic, WHO and UNICEF have been coordinating a mass vaccination campaign that was launched in December 2013 targeting 22 million children across the Middle East.

The campaign is part of a comprehensive outbreak response after 17 polio cases due to wild poliovirus type 1 were confirmed in the country in November last year.

In a joint resolution, all Member States in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region declared polio eradication to be an 'emergency'.

"The fighting did not only interrupt the polio immunization campaign, but is also increasing the suffering of the Syrian people, not least women and children," the agencies' representatives said in a statement. "We call on all parties to cease fighting immediately and permit completion of the life-saving polio campaign and delivery of other life-saving humanitarian interventions. …

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