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U.N. Helps Kick Off Polio Immunization Campaigns In Angola, Central African Republic

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday “launched a national polio vaccination campaign in Angola, where the crippling disease has returned despite being eradicated in 2001, and praised the government for its leadership on the issue,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “Angola provides a large majority of the funding needed to vaccinate the country’s children,” the news service writes. Ban said the return of polio to Angola within four years after it was eradicated in 2001 illustrated the importance of immunization against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as responding to any new polio cases, according to the news service (2/27).

Meanwhile in the Central African Republic, UNICEF, WHO, and government officials are “launching a vaccination campaign that seeks to reach children in hard-to-reach populations as well as those living in conflict and post-conflict zones where there is limited access to health services,” the U.N. News Centre reports in a separate article. The country had gone two years without detecting any polio cases, until it recorded four imported cases last year, according to the news service. The campaign also will provide vitamin A supplements and de-worming treatments to children under five years old, the news service notes (2/27).