Zambia: UN agencies assist in polio immunization campaign

Zambia: UN agencies assist in polio immunization campaign

Following confirmation of three cases of polio among Angolan refugees in a Zambian border town, two United Nations agencies - UNICEF, the UN Children's Fund, and the World Health Organization (WHO) - have joined a major collaborative polio immunization exercise in Zambia's Western and North-Western provinces.

Prior to the discovery of the three cases in Mambolomoka village on the Angolan border, there had been no reported cases of polio in Zambia since 1995. However, the nature and virulence of the disease mean a high quality "mop-up" immunization campaign should be undertaken whenever a wild case of polio is found, even if the case is imported.

Children under five will be targeted for immunization in their own homes by the Zambian Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO and the United States Government aid organization, USAID. Vitamin A supplements will be also be provided, according to information provided by WHO and UNICEF.