Fighting Halts Polio Vaccination in Northern Syria

01/13/2014
Map of Syria

Heavy fighting has prevented health workers from getting polio vaccine to an estimated 100,000 Syrian children in the northeastern province of Raqqa, United Nations aid agencies said on Monday, appealing for access.

The crippling infectious disease was confirmed in 17 children in Syria in October, the first outbreak there since 1999. A nationwide campaign was launched in November to vaccinate some 2 million Syrian children under five each month until May.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) condemned the halt of the immunization campaign in Raqqa province due to intense fighting in Syria's civil war.

Polio poses a “serious risk” in Syria and the region and all children have the right to be protected from the disease, which can paralyze a child within hours, they said in a statement.

The full article continues at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-syria-crisis-aid-idUSBREA0C13T20140113 on Reuters’ website.