PAKISTAN’S REFUGEE CRISIS CREATES OPPORTUNITY TO VACCINATE AGAINST POLIO SPREAD

(The following is from July, 2014 issue of Polio News published by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. CLICK on bold, italic type for a more in-depth analysis)

As a result of government military action in North Waziristan, some 900 000 people  – more than 70% of whom are women and children – have been displaced throughout Pakistan and into Afghanistan. This mass movement provides the first opportunity to immunize a population that has been living under a vaccination ban by local leaders since June 2012, and the government and humanitarian partners quickly set up vaccination stations at transit points along the refugees’ main route. A total of 425 780 individuals have been vaccinated at transit vaccination posts in south Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) between 21 May and 16 July. In addition, over 1.5 million doses were administered to children under five years old during three rounds of house-to-house vaccination campaigns among the displaced and host communities.

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