© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-0830/Li
A health worker administers an oral polio vaccination to a child at a mobile outreach point in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

The situation

Countries that had been polio-free for years such as Burundi, Kenya and Uganda reported cases in 2009.

The polio virus was re-introduced in Angola in 2005 and the latest case was recorded in August 2010.


UNICEF’s mission is to assist governments in their efforts to immunize every child against polio until transmission has stopped and the world can be certified polio-free. Particular focus is on social mobilization and vaccine procurement.

Since the late 1990s, the polio vaccine has been delivered to children in endemic countries through mass immunization campaigns, known as National Immunization Days (NIDs).

Somalia, a country that had eradicated polio in 2002, was re-infected in 2005. However, the last case of polio was registered in March 2007, indicating that the country is once again polio-free.

As of 30 July 2010, the Horn of Africa is again polio-free, with Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda having reported no wild poliovirus cases for more than a year.



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