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Yemen: Polio Outbreak - Aug 2020

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A polio outbreak has been declared in Yemen following 15 reported cases of vaccine derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) in the first weeks of August 2020. The cases were detected in different districts of Sa’ada Governorate, in the north-west of the country. Children aged from 8 months to 13 years are affected. Significant challenges and delays in the shipment of stool samples from Yemen during the last two years have resulted in delayed detection. An outbreak response is being implemented by UNICEF and WHO in support of the local health authorities. Local impediments, including security, limit the application of internationally recommended protocol of house-to-house vaccination campaigns. (ECHO, 25 Aug 2020)

The cases in Yemen are clustered in the Sa'adah governorate in the war-ravaged country's north-west, an area that has very low routine immunization levels and which has been inaccessible to the polio programme for more than 2 years. The last house-to-house campaigns in this area were nearly 2 years ago, in November 2018. (UNICEF/WHO, 11 Sep 2020)