UN alarmed at polio threat in Sudan border region
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UN alarmed at polio threat in Sudan border region

As Israeli health ministry continues to encourage vaccination, virus spreads through the Horn of Africa

The polio vaccine at the Health Ministry office in Beersheba, August 4, 2013, (photo credit: Flash90)
The polio vaccine at the Health Ministry office in Beersheba, August 4, 2013, (photo credit: Flash90)

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council expressed alarm Friday at the imminent threat of the spread of polio through Sudan’s violence-wracked South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and the continuing outbreak of polio in the Horn of Africa.

The UN humanitarian office has reported that the threat affects more than 165,000 children in the two Sudanese states “due to a lack of immunization in the border area in more than two years,” the Security Council said in a statement Friday.

Israel has been vaccinating children against polio all summer.

The SPLM-North, a rebel group backed by South Sudan, has been fighting government forces in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The Security Council called on Sudan’s government and the SPLM-North “to urgently overcome differences” over technical plans so that a two-week polio vaccination campaign can begin on schedule on Nov. 5.

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