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20 Million Middle East Children To Get Polio Vaccination

on November 8, 2013

World

The United Nations and World Health Organization announced plans Friday to vaccinate more than 20 million children across the Middle East, in response to a polio outbreak in war-ravaged Syria.

The initiative, which will be the region’s largest-ever anti-polio push and carried out over six months, will specifically target Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and the West Bank. More than 650,000 children in Syria — including 116,000 in the Deir Ezzor province where the recent outbreak was spotted and confirmed for the first time in 14 years — have been immunized.

Preliminary reports have suggested the highly infectious virus, which can cause irreversible paralysis and puts children under age 5 at the most risk, came from Pakistan where the disease is still endemic.

(MORE: Syria Blame Game On Polio Outbreak)

[AFP]

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