UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. children’s agency says a major health campaign is taking place to vaccinate 41 million children against polio in the four countries comprising the Lake Chad Basin — Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
UNICEF said Tuesday the re-emergence of polio after two years without any reported cases is “a huge concern” especially in an area where Boko Haram Islamic extremists are active.
The agency said nearly 39,000 health workers are deployed in high-risk areas and so far approximately 30 million children have been vaccinated with the oral polio vaccine.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said UNICEF’s response remains hampered by continued insecurity and by a lack of funding. Only $50.4 million of the $158 million needed for the emergency vaccination campaign has been received so far, he said.