UNICEF Welcomes Ukraine’s Plan to Stop Polio Outbreak

05 January 2022

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine has welcomed the adoption of a national plan which aims to halt recent polio outbreak in the country. 

Signed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Ukraine on 30 December 2021, the plan signifies the government’s commitment to protecting Ukrainian children from polio and eradicating poliovirus in Ukraine and beyond, in cooperation with all partners.

Due to low routine immunization rates, polio returned to Ukraine in 2021. Polio is a debilitating disease that can cause life-long paralysis and even death. With one paralysis case and 19 children tested positive for virus without symptoms, polio now poses a serious threat to every child in Ukraine. 

“Polio anywhere is a threat to children everywhere. Vaccination is the only effective way to protect every child and stop the outbreak,” said Murat Sahih, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “Polio vaccines are safe, effective and have already saved hundreds of thousands of children worldwide. I call upon all Ukrainian parents to get their children vaccinated according to the national immunization calendar as soon as possible.”

Partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, including UNICEF, are making every effort to end polio worldwide so that no child will ever be crippled by this deadly disease. 

In Ukraine, UNICEF will be working with the government every step of the way to ensure the effective implementation of the recently adopted polio response plan, especially in the areas of vaccine management and social and behavioral change. The shared goal is to ensure that every child has a life free from polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases

Media contacts

Svitlana Kisilova
Communications Consultant
UNICEF Ukraine


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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