This summer our successful polio campaign came to a close in northwest Syria

7 September 2021, The campaign, which was led by WHO and UNICEF in 44 Team Support Centers, incredibly achieved its monumental target of vaccinating 815,242 children under 5 years old across the war-torn region against Polio. Polio as you might well know is a virus that still remains active in our world and can strike paralysis for life onto its victims, whatever their age. Once fully vaccinated, you are protected from this horrendous disease, for life.

However one area could not be part of the initial campaign for immunization. After weeks of careful and sensitive negotiation, WHO and their Partners, the Syrian Immunization Group (SIG) managed to enter the Afrin region and vaccinate an additional 87,466 children there. We are extremely proud of this dedication and work and delighted to tell you that WHO and SIG together achieved a staggering 106% of the target vaccinations.

Here is a photo of a dedicated member of the SIG delivering the Polio vaccine kept in cold chain on donkey-back, reaching the far flung off-road corners of the Afrin region. Every child deserves the right to health and WHO and its partners ensure that not just quotas are met, but that lives are both changed and saved.

We would like to thank Dr Loutfy (WHO) and Dr Yasser (SIG) for their dedication and commitment towards saving lives in northwest Syria.

For more information, please contact: Grattan Lynch, Communications Officer E-mail: