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Risks of polio outbreak in Yemen

Between 2019 and 2021, #Yemen reported a total of 35 polio cases caused by a vaccine-derived poliovirus strain.
حملات التلقيح ضد شلل الاطفال في اليمن
Polio vaccination campaigns in Yemen

A drop in vaccine coverage in conflict-affected areas has increased Yemen's vulnerability to polio outbreaks caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus strains. The World Health Organization states this. Yemen still has an effective and responsive acute flaccid paralysis surveillance system, despite the ongoing conflict. However, as the global organization underlines, the fighting has made it difficult for health professionals to reach all children in order to vaccinate them against polio.

Health personnel have the most difficulty reaching remote and conflict-affected communities. Local authorities in various northern governorates have prohibited any vaccination initiatives against polio and other vaccine-preventable infectious illnesses. Poor sanitation and hygiene, as well as conditions in conflict-affected areas and displacement camps in Yemen, compound the problem and increase the risk of polio and other infectious disease outbreaks.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization are still in talks and requesting permission to begin immunization campaigns in conflict zones. Long bureaucratic licensing formalities imposed by northern government authorities hamper quick response to polio outbreaks.

Yemen reported 35 polio cases caused by a vaccine-derived poliovirus strain between 2019 and 2021. The first instance happened in 2019, with 31 incidents occurring in 2020 and three cases occurring in 2021. The outbreak's epicenter was in Saada Governorate, where authorities had prohibited door-to-door immunization for several years.


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