Polio Eradication – A Reflection on the Darfur Campaign
Challenges of an Immunization Campaign
IPS "In June 2004, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) led by WHO, Rotary International, U.S. Centres for Disease Control and UNICEF warned that the polio virus was spreading at an alarming rate across West and Central Africa. In May 2004, it was confirmed that a child was paralysed by polio in Darfur. This was a complex emergency; a simmering conflict, combined with hunger, malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, sanitation, health and other basic services made survival itself a challenge. (...) The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) had served as a bridge, an entry point and a disease control strategy for reaching the unreached and most vulnerable. The lesson learned is that it is possible to immunise children even in complex emergencies and conflict settings," writes Siddharth Chatterjee, International Federtion of Red Cross and Red Crescent Associations on IPS.