Khartoum allows polio vaccine in troubled states

The Sudanese government has agreed to let United Nations workers vaccinate tens of thousands of children against polio in the violence-wracked South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, the world body said Thursday.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Ali al-Zaatari said the vaccination campaign would begin on November 5.

Although Sudan was recently declared free, the virus has reappeared in east Africa.

South Kordofan and Blue Nile are of "particular concern," the United Nations said, because no polio vaccination programs have taken place in areas controlled by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) since the rebels and the Sudanese government went to war in 2011.

The UN says a million people are affected by the violence.

Two weeks ago, the UN Security Council had urged Khartoum and the rebels to agree to allow vaccinations to go forward in the two troubled states, saying the health and livelihood of 165,000 aged five and younger was at stake.

According to the UN, these poorly immunized children could get the disease.

"Sudan's future lies in the health of its children," Zaatari said.

"This is an opportunity for all parties to put children's before politics and to ensure that this campaign goes ahead without delay."

Highly infectious polio is spread by person-to-person contact, exacerbated by poor sanitation and a lack of clean water.

Affecting mainly children aged under five, it can cause total paralysis within hours.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN alarmed at polio threat in Sudan border region

Oct 12, 2013

The U.N. Security Council is expressing alarm at the imminent threat of the spread of polio through Sudan's violence-wracked South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and the continuing outbreak of polio in the Horn of Africa.

More than 300,000 affected by Sudan floods: WHO

Aug 22, 2013

More than 300,000 people across Sudan have been affected by floods which killed almost 50 people this month, the UN's World Health Organisation said in a statement received Thursday.

Recommended for you

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

10 hours ago

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

10 hours ago

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

User comments