Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Poliomyelitis in Ethiopia and Somalia

8 September 2006

Polio-free for almost three years, Somalia became re-infected last year. To date, there are a total of 215 confirmed cases, and 14 out of Somalia’s 19 regions have been infected. Since its re-infection in December 2004, Ethiopia has reported a total of 37 polio cases with four out of 11 regions infected. The high-risk areas remain the cross-border region of Somali, Ethiopia and north/central areas of Somalia. Kenya has been polio-free for the last 22 years.

Countries in the Horn of Africa are increasing their level of planning, coordination and streamlining their polio eradication strategies to cut the corridor of transmission of the poliovirus. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya will simultaneously vaccinate millions of children under five years of age from 9-12 September in the largest ever synchronized vaccination campaigns in the Horn of Africa.

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