Angola launches nation-wide polio immunization campaign

In anticipation of Angola’s upcoming polio immunization campaign from 6-8 August, UNICEF and WHO call for the full engagement of all sectors of government as well as communities throughout the country to ensure that all 5.6 million children under five years old are reached in the most critical polio campaign this year.

As part of the Government’s emergency plan to put an end to polio in 2010, Angola will launch a national polio immunization campaign, to urgently protect the country's children from life-long paralysis. The campaign comes hot on the heels of the World Health Organization (WHO) issuing a stark report warning of the risk of international spread, given the high number of cases being reported in Angola this year.

Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Health has reported 19 cases of wild poliovirus in Angola. Six provinces - Luanda, Bengo, Huambo, Bie, Lunda Norte as well as Lunda Sul are affected, with 11 cases from North Lunda alone. Polio cases originating in Angola have also spread across the border to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Global experts have expressed concern about further spread in the region and the high cost of conducting emergency response campaigns.

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