Eight years after the last outbreak in 2005, polio is once again ravaging the Horn of Africa
Monday, November 4, 2013
The outbreak appears to have been made worse by the years of war and government failure in Somalia, where large numbers of children have never been vaccinated against the disease.
“Already we’ve had more than 170 children suffering, which is 170 too many for an easily preventable disease,” says Dr Hamid Jafari from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the multinational body charged with dealing with the disease.
The vaccination response has been swift, with international aid agencies and local authorities coordinating mass campaigns in many parts of southern Somalia including the Banadir region and the Dadaab refugee camp for Somalis in Kenya, a sprawling semi-permanent home to the world’s largest number of refugees – almost half a million – displaced by Somalia’s 20-year civil war.
- Health Care