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Somalia: UN Declares Somalia Free of Polio

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The UN World Health Organisation (WHO) said it had not recorded any case of polio disease in Somalia in the last three years, declaring the country polio free.

The WHO said the country recorded the last case of polio in 2014 in the central part of the country but has since then remained free of the paralyzing disease.

The UN health agency, however, warned Somalia remained vulnerable, calling for continued vaccination campaign, Xinhua reported.

The head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean, which covers Somalia, Mohamed Fiqi said that massive vaccination campaigns and commitment from government and international actors had ensured the polio virus did not recur in the Horn of Africa country.

“As the world edges closer to eradicating polio, keeping alert in countries that have high risk of polio importation like Somalia is more of priority than ever,” Fiqi said.

“As we move forward, the polio programme in Somalia needs to continue to work to maintain and improve the level of population immunity against polio through target vaccination campaign and strengthening of the routine immunisation services and infrastructure,” Fiqi added.