In November, the Order of Malta German Emergency Corps (Malteser) carried out stage two of its polio vaccination campaign in the north of Darfur, Sudan. Ralf Pahlmann, Malteser emergency expert and coordinator of this campaign, is convinced that the Darfur conflict with all the border crossings and failed vaccination campaigns is a main cause for the return of this disease.
‘The price for one vaccination is only 38 cents! In five days we reached about 6,200 children under the age of five – 3,500 more than in our first campaign in October.’
45 local community health workers run the campaign in 140 villages and the children already vaccinated in October will get their complete protection in a second immunisation campaign early in 2005. All campaigns are run in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).