U.N. Security Council calls for polio immunization campaign in Sudan
Members of the Council expressed concern over the serious threat of a polio outbreak in Sudan. An epidemic has already begun in the Horn of Africa and continues to spread.
The U.N. Security Council called on the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North to come together to allow for safe passage of humanitarian aid workers to implement the emergency vaccination campaign. The campaign is supported by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children's Fund.
The campaign is scheduled to take place in the first week of November. It will last for two weeks and will begin in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked for international support from Security Council members to ensure full vaccinations for at-risk populations in Sudan.
Polio is a highly infectious disease which attacks the nervous system. Initial symptoms are vomiting, headache, fever, fatigue, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infections result in permanent paralysis; between five to 10 percent of those paralyzed die as a result of their respiratory system becoming paralyzed.