The United Nations is still pushing to contain the polio outbreak in Somalia which has now reached 105 recorded cases, AFP reports.
The U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Friday that Somalia is now considered the "worst outbreak in the world in a non-endemic country." They thought the country has been virus free for six years but they were wrong. To aggravate the situation, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) decided to withdraw its services in the region. The French humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization has provided free medical services to Somalia for almost 22 years.
The Somali government was distressed of MSF’s decision as the organization had been with them even during the darkest days of the country.
Despite multiple efforts to restrain the contagious viral disease that can lead to paralysis, many are still victimized by this crippling illness. The U.N had already vaccinated about four million people and had provided 600,000 drugs to children from the Southern and Central part of Somalia, excluding Shebab which is a known territory of the international terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
OCHA highlighted that the risky condition of the areas made it difficult for them to fully eradicate the outbreak especially that Al-Qaeda is resistant to the vaccination programs of the U.N. The world humanitarian organization wanted to provide health assistance to the Somalis but wouldn’t want to compromise the safety of the volunteers.
To date, 105 confirmed cases of polio were recorded but OCHA believes that there could be more which can reach thousands as children may be carriers and haven’t shown symptoms yet at the moment. The carriers may not be sick but are capable of spreading the virus to others.
There were 10 confirmed cases in Kenya where half a million of Somali refugees are located.
The World Health Organization reported that there was 223 polio cases for 2012 and 47 percent of it is from Somalia.