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UN Will Vaccinate 5 Million Indonesian Children

UN Agencies Will Vaccinate 5 Million Indonesian Children Against Polio
New York, May 5 2005 1:00PM

With two cases of polio confirmed recently after 10 years with none, more than 5 million Indonesian children will be vaccinated against the paralytic disease by their Government and United Nations agencies, starting today.

In the first phase, 1,500 children in the area 60 kilometres south of Jakarta where the two cases were found will be inoculated today and tomorrow, with support from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The second phase, starting on 31 May and supported by <"http://www.unicef.org/media/media_26559.html">UNICEF, the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the business association Rotary International will help the Indonesian Ministry of Health with a $4 million campaign to cover 5.2 million children in the capital, Jakarta, and the rest of Western Java.

The two young victims in Sukabumi district were girls aged 18 months and 20 months, who contracted poliomyelitis virus type one (P1). The virus is related to one which has been spreading from northern Nigeria, UNICEF said.

During a stand-off over the quality of the inoculation, northern Nigerians suspended the vaccination of children against polio, citing the unauthorized use of an experimental drug to combat a meningitis outbreak in the same area. <"http://www.who.int/en/">WHO subsequently put that drug on its alert list, citing the negative results of studies done in Europe and the United States.

According to UN Special Adviser on Africa Ibrahim Gambari, northern Nigeria agreed to resume polio inoculations, using a vaccine made in Indonesia.

ENDS

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