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Japan, Britain Donate Funds To Help U.N. Provide Polio Vaccinations In Somalia, Kenya

“An emergency contribution from Japan will enable the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners to tackle a polio outbreak in Somalia that has already paralyzed nearly 100 children and threatens hundreds of thousands more who are not vaccinated,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/5). “With a growing number of unvaccinated children now facing an explosive outbreak of polio cases in the country, Japan’s generous contribution will help UNICEF and partners conduct additional vaccination campaigns and prevent further spread of the virus across Somalia and into neighboring countries,” according to a UNICEF press release (8/5). Britain will provide £10 million ($15.3 million) to the campaign, which “will allow the [WHO] to immunize 6.1 million people most at risk from the disease in Somalia, northern Kenya and other countries in the region, the Department for International Development (DfID) said,” the Daily Express writes, adding, “The U.N. has warned that without further support the disease could quickly develop into an epidemic across East Africa and put countless lives and livelihoods at risk” (8/5). “‘Until polio transmission is interrupted in the endemic countries, outbreaks such as the one in Somalia are to be expected,’ explains Dr. Hamid Jafari, director of polio research and operations at the [WHO],” according to an article on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative webpage (7/31).