A baby is vaccinated against polio in Nairobi recently. Five cases of
the highly infectious disease have been confirmed in the past two weeks
among the estimated 424,000 Somalis living in Dadaab. Photo/File
Saturday, June 01, 2013
The Ministry of Health is working with
United Nations agencies to stem a polio outbreak in the Dadaab refugee
complex, the UN announced on Friday.
Five cases of the highly infectious disease have
been confirmed in the past two weeks among the estimated 424,000 Somalis
living in Dadaab.
Kenyan health workers are conducting a vaccination
campaign in areas of Northeastern Province near the camp while an
emergency team from the World Health Organisation is helping inoculate
thousands of children in Dadaab.
Health workers are aiming to vaccinate every resident of Dadaab within the next couple of months, the UN said.
A case of polio has recently been reported in
Mogadishu, and there are fears about a possible outbreak in south
central Somalia, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday.
In that area controlled by al-Shabaab insurgents,
"immunisation activities have not taken place for the last three years
because of the security situation," the UN agency reported.
The polio virus, which can cause total paralysis
in a matter of hours, has been eliminated from many developing countries
in recent years.
Prior to the outbreaks in Kenya and Somalia, only
three countries were known to be polio sites: Nigeria, Pakistan and