World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Agencies Help Sudan Turn Back Polio Epidemic

UN Agencies Help Sudan Turn Back Polio Epidemic

New York, May 25 2005 5:00PM

Continuing the all-out effort to eradicate polio from Sudan, the country's Ministry of Health, backed by United Nations agencies and other organizations, today launched a three-day campaign to immunize all children under 5.

This fourth round of Sudan's National Immunization Days in 2005 hopes to reach those children living in the poorest communities or those cut off by conflict. These children are the key to stopping the spread of the disease, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), which, along with the UN World Health Organizations (WHO), is among the programme's international partner agencies.

There are now 150 confirmed cases of polio in Sudan. The latest two cases were announced by the Ministry of Health on 15 May, and are in the states of Khartoum and West Kordofan, raising to 24 the total number of cases reported this year.

UNICEF said the overall outlook across affected African and Arab States is encouraging, with good results emerging from this year's previous polio campaigns. None of the countries where transmission re-emerged in 2004 have recorded any cases so far this year, and cases are also falling dramatically in Nigeria.

But Sudan is the exception. Eighteen of the 26 states of Africa's largest country now have confirmed cases of polio since the beginning of the outbreak in May 2004. A three-year period of polio-free status – from 2001 to 2004 – led authorities and health agencies to focus limited global resources on other countries. Sudan discontinued nationwide polio campaigns after 2002, and only sub-national immunization campaigns have been conducted over the past two years in order to reach borders and low routine coverage areas.

Authorities believe that these new cases of polio were introduced into the country by cross-border movements of infected individuals carrying the virus into Sudan and exposing unvaccinated children. The long war between the north and the south and now in the Darfur region of western Sudan have prevented access to basic health services for many, leaving unvaccinated children very vulnerable to this menacing virus, UNICEF said.

"With children already beginning to return with their families to the south from the north and from other countries, the risk of infection with the polio virus is greater than ever," said Joanna Van Gerpen, UNICEF Representative in Sudan. "We must ensure that the positive trend of people returning to their home areas is not offset by increased disease rates due to lack of immunization."


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC