On the road with Somaliland’s dedicated polio vaccinators

Report
from Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Published on 24 Sep 2019 View Original

Long commutes and cold box in hand, no place is too far away in the fight to end polio.

Compared to the busy streets of Hargeisa, Somaliland, just 20 kilometres outside of the city are broad stretches of barren land—home to the nomads. Nomadism is part of Somalia’s culture, and there are thousands of families throughout the country who lead pastoral lifestyles, raising livestock and moving their animals and families as the seasons change. Their frequent movement means that children are not always nearby a health clinic to receive their scheduled vaccinations on time. Such disruption or delay in receiving vaccines can result in low or no protection against common childhood infections.

If children are not immunized against polio, they risk contracting the virus and developing paralysis. They also risk passing polioviruses to other under-immunized children. But the polio eradication teams are committed to reach every last child with polio vaccine notwithstanding challenging terrains.

Look through the lives of polio vaccinators in Somaliland on the third day of the vaccination campaign activities as part of the larger efforts to reach over 1.1 million children with the oral polio vaccine.

See photo story here.