Libya concludes Polio vaccination campaign with support from UNICEF & WHO

By United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

The first national polio vaccination campaign for two years was completed in Libya yesterday. The five day campaign is estimated to have reached more than one million children under the direct supervision of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ahead of the campaign, UNICEF provided 1.5 million doses of polio vaccines to the country, through a special flight to the Mitiga Airport in Tripoli. The shipment contained enough vaccines to cover nearly 1.2 million children below the age of six. WHO has catered for all the operational cost of the campaign as well as the technical assistance.

“This recent shipment of vaccines is part of UNICEF's efforts to restore routine immunization activities across Libya, crucial to the survival of all children in the country”, said Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Special Representative in Libya.

Libya has been polio free since 1991. Conflict and violence have interrupted routine immunization against polio, mandatory since 1970. This campaign is the first since 2014. Implemented across Libya's 64 districts, the campaign includes 2,000 trained vaccinators working in 600 health facilities.

“UNICEF is looking forward to further cooperation with the NCDC and WHO to improve the coverage of immunization, effective vaccine management including procurement and strengthening cold chain system, surveillance and information sharing systems in Libya” added Dr Khalil.