The outbreak began in 2008, following the reappearance of wild poliovirus type 1 in the border area of southern Sudan and Ethiopia, and spread in early 2009 to the northern Sudanese city of Port Sudan, and to Kenya and Uganda. In total, 101 children were paralysed by polio in these four countries between 2 March 2008 and 30 July 2009. The cases in Port Sudan sparked particular international concern as it was from this area that, from 2004 to 2006, wild poliovirus type 1 spread to re-infect several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen and Indonesia.
A series of multi-country immunization campaigns, combined with the scale-up of technical support, and strong political engagement by the affected countries proved to be the backbone of the successful outbreak response.
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