UNICEF received one million doses of polio vaccine in Erbil on Saturday, marking the first ever occasion of such a delivery directly to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I).
Following on its recent agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to greatly expand immunization efforts in the KR-I, Saturday’s shipment will support the joint UNICEF, WHO and KRG immunization campaign beginning on 6 July, during which more than 800,000 children under five, including refugees and the newly displaced, will receive vaccination.
These supplies arrive in the context of multiple crises. In February, Iraq recorded its first polio case in 14 years, while continuing violence throughout the country and in neighbouring Syria, have precipitated the continuing mass displacement of children from areas with poor routine immunization and made new immunization difficult.
(Polio image via Shutterstock)