The Syrian government has announced that all children in the country will be vaccinated against polio. There has been an outbreak of polio in the Northeast region of the country of about 10 documented cases. Polio is a debilitating disease that slowly attacks the nervous system and usually cripples the body before becoming fatal. The World Health Organization (WHO) has worked for years to eradicate polio and they have been close to success with the exception of some countries. According to WHO, the cases that were documented were a consequence of the children not being immunized.This outbreak of polio has been effecting children in unsanitary areas where contaminated feces in food or drink is consumed.
Government officials say that every child in Syria will be reached by a humanitarian organization, even those that reside in rebel areas. Many are concerned how medical care will be able to reach children in rebel areas because not only are these areas blockaded but they are constantly under attack. Aid groups have called cease-fire to allow for immunizations to be administered, which is has happened before. Officials are not exactly sure how these areas will be reached, but they have said that there have been attempts to get food and other supplies to citizens being held in rebel areas.
This is a good effort to prevent polio from spreading further in Syria and also a quick call to action in pursuit of eradicating the disease altogether. It has been proven that keeping children properly vaccinated against polio practically wipes out the disease all around as it has been pushed in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan. The major problem does arise when it comes to making sure each and every child is vaccinated because the country is currently in political turmoil. Rebel-controlled areas will be hardest to reach because they are constantly blockaded. These areas are also considerably dangerous as these are targeted areas for suicide bombers and missile attacks. I believe that the cease-fire will be the best way for children and citizens to receive the help that they need.
November 4, 2013