With a polio outbreak spreading rapidly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UN Daily News reports that the Executive Director of UNICEF will visit the country to help support a mass campaign to vaccinate over 14 million children.
The DRC has witnessed a sharp resurgence of polio as conditions in the country continue to complicate vaccination efforts, potentially undermining global eradication of the crippling disease. From January 2010 to February 2011, there were 112 new cases. In 2009, only three cases were detected.
“UNICEF will do everything we can to support the DRC’s collective effort to defeat this evil virus once and for all,” said UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake. “Eradicating polio in DRC and everywhere requires an absolute commitment by government and its partners to vaccinate every child.”
In response to the outbreak, preparations are underway to go door to door to vaccinate more than 14 million children by the end of May. The aim is to make sure that no child is left unprotected.