Polio vaccines reach children in Yemen
The pause in humanitarian work allowed UNICEF and WHO to offer the polio vaccine in a variety of areas. The Ministry of Health also assisted in reaching an estimated 50,000 children with vaccines against measles, polio, and rubella. These children were located throughout 9 Governorates in the country.
Conflict is one of the largest obstacles preventing polio eradication. It is difficult to administer the vaccines to children in areas with high conflict.
Since 2011, Yemen has not had any new polio cases, but the area’s humanitarian situation has diminished to the point of leaving vulnerable children without any access to vaccines and health support.
The United Nations has estimated that approximately 1.2 million people have been affected and displaced by the latest crisis in Yeman. Because of this, the latest vaccination campaign intentionally focused on regions where internally displaced people have taken refuge. These areas include Sana’a, Sana’a City, Ibb, Dhamar, Al Hodiada, Amran, Lajh, Al Mukalla and Hajja.
The Yemen conflict has resulted in several challenges for the polio eradication program. These include more than 20 percent of health centers closing, difficulties in distributing vaccines and inaccessibility of the centers because of the conflict.