Children in West and Central Africa

UNICEF in the region

Polio immunization

Child and Maternal Health


HIV/AIDS in the region


Water and sanitation

Child protection


Polio immunization

© UNICEF/2012/Asselin
A child receives a dose of oral polio vaccine at the Diapaongo health centre in the town of Diapaongo in Est Region, Burkina Faso.

Although on-going efforts to prevent the spread of polio in West and Central Africa have been implemented, additional work towards eradicating the disease in the region remains. New approaches, such as standardized, independent monitoring, and better training for country staff have helped prevent transmission.

Since 2010, Nigeria has shown significant progress, reducing the number of new cases by 99 per cent (Global Polio Eradication Initiative case count). Additionally, some countries, such as Senegal, rely on routine vaccination rounds to ensure children under five years receive two drops of the vaccine on at least three separate occasions.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that attacks the nervous system. Children under five years of age are the most vulnerable to the disease, but timely immunization can prevent infection.

Watch this video on the efforts to eradicate polio:

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