Health Workers Race to Vaccinate 41 Million Children Against Polio in Lake Chad, West Africa

Photographer: Alyce Henson; Courtesy of Rotary International
Photographer: Alyce Henson; Courtesy of Rotary International

In West Africa’s Lake Chad, health officials have launched an ambitious drive to vaccinate 41 million children in the area. Approximately 39,000 health workers have been sent to neighboring areas, including Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon, to take on the mass endeavor, according to UNICEF. In addition to administering polio vaccinations, workers will be helping children exhibiting signs of malnutrition. Due to fighting between the Islamist group Boko Haram and the Nigerian army, more than 2.6 million people were displaced and were unable to receive adequate healthcare and nourishment. “The re-emergence of polio after two years with no recorded cases is a huge concern in an area already in crisis,” says UNICEF regional director Manuel Fontaine. “We must not allow polio to spread.”

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Written By Beyond Polio