Khartoum allows polio vaccine in troubled states

October 24, 2013

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.

Related Stories

UN alarmed at polio threat in Sudan border region

October 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.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.