Niger Just Vaccinated More Than 5 Million Children Against Polio
Polio is 99% eradicated.
Exceeding an initial target of 4.5 million, more than 5 million children were vaccinated against polio in Niger last month, according to a UN report from Tuesday.
This public health initiative was extended to reach children in refugee camps, where many people have landed after fleeing Nigeria’s Boko Haram attacks.
The vaccine drive also included 42,000 children in refugee camps in the Lake Chad area, which sits as a border between Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
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“In total 5,317,453 children under five years old were vaccinated against polio,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.
Polio is a highly infectious disease that can cause irreversible paralysis and even death. But we are incredibly close to its eradication, which is what makes vaccination campaigns like this one so important.
Programs like this are taking place in other countries too, like Pakistan, where a new polio vaccination program that will reach 38.7 million children under the age of 5 launched on April 9.
Polio is endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. There were 22 cases of wild polio in 2017 and, now, 8 in 2018.
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