More than a million polio vaccines intended for children have been destroyed following looting in Sudan during the escalation of violence in April, the UN children’s agency UNICEF told Reuters on Friday.
UNICEF: Over a million polio vaccines destroyed in Sudan
“A number of cold chain facilities were looted, damaged and destroyed, including over one million polio vaccines in South Darfur,” Hazel De Wet, deputy director of the Office for emergency programs of UNICEF.
The agency was in the middle of a series of polio vaccination campaigns in Sudan, following an outbreak in late 2022.
Poliomyelitis, a disease that mainly affects children under 5, can lead to paralysis and death. Africa was declared free of wild polio in 2020, but Malawi, Mozambique and Sudan have reported imported cases since last year.
A World Health Organization database shows there have been 28 attacks on health facilities in Sudan since the conflict broke out last month, pitting the Sudanese army and rapid support paramilitary forces.
Numerous humanitarian agencies have reported looting during the Sudan crisis, including the World Food Program, which said it lost $13-14 million worth of goods.
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