Somaliland begins campaign to vaccinate 600,000 children against polio

Multiple international organizations started a campaign on Monday to vaccinate children under five years of age in Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia.

The World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Somaliland Ministry of Health are working together on the program to administer the polio vaccine to 600,000 children, reports.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health sent 1,209 vaccination teams of four trained health workers each to Sool, Sahil, Sanaag, Awdal, Togdheer and Marodi Jeh to carry out the vaccination campaign.

"The campaign will continue for three days in all areas except Marodi Jeh, which will have four days," Kaise Kosar, a representative of Ministry of Health's public health unit, said, according to

The ministry sent text messages on Sunday to the mobile phones of citizens requesting that parents take advantage of the opportunity to vaccine their children.

In 2012, more than half a million children received vaccinations against polio in Somaliland as part of an exercise conducted by UNICEF, WHO and the Ministry of Health.

Polio is a viral infection that causes motor weakness and paralysis. There is no cure for people who become infected with polio, though the vaccination can prevent infection in the first place, reports.