United Nations, Oct 12: Alarmed by the possibility of polio spreading across Sudan, the UN Security Council (UNSC) has urged all parties to allow a vaccination campaign to implement next month as planned.
The council was concerned with the continuing outbreak of polio in the Horn of Africa and the imminent threat of polio through South Kordofan of Sudan, reported Xinhua citing the UNSC in a statement.
“Failure to vaccinate exacerbates the risk of the further spread of the disease which the international community has made great strides to eliminate,” said the statement.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the polio threat affects over 165,000 children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile due to a lack of immunisation in the border area of Sudan and South Sudan in more than two years.
The 15-member UN body called on the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to urgently resolve differences and ensure safe passage, for the two-week vaccination campaign to go forward in South Kordofan and Blue Nile Nov. 5 as planned.
The campaign was proposed by UN OCHA, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to WHO, as many as 196 cases of polio have been confirmed in September in the Horn of Africa, which remained vulnerable to polio virus due to low immunisation coverage.