WHO declares Somalia Polio free for third straight year
World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Somalia polio free on Sunday after the country didn’t record any cases of the disease in the past three years.
The UN health agency said that the last case of polio was recorded in Somalia in 2014 and since then the country has remained free of the deadly disease.
The organization, however, has warned that the country still remains vulnerable and hence called for continued vaccination campaign.
Mohamed Fiqi, who is the head of WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean has been quoted as saying that the extensive vaccination campaigns and commitment from the side of government and international actors had played a key role in ensuring that the polio virus does not recur.
The WHO’s declaration has kept Somalia outside of the group of countries where the disease is still affecting the people.
As a matter of fact, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the countries where cases of polio are still being reported. Fiqi has warned that Somalia still faces the risk of importation of the deadly virus from these three countries.
Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo lauded the efforts of the organizations concerned for eradicating the disease which has affected many children in the country.
Somalia continued to be a polio-free country for the third straight year. However, this comes in the midst of the worst measles outbreak it has witnessed in years. The country is also battling other diseases like diarrhea and cholera, which started in January this year.