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


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news