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Stories from the Field

Empowering women on the frontlines

Women on the frontlines hold one of the keys for polio eradication in the remaining priority countries. With the ability to speak woman to woman or mother to mother, female workers hold great sway over the vaccination process....

A day in the life of Polio’s bravest workforce

Follow Leema, a polio volunteer in Jalalabad, Eastern Afghanistan, as she goes door to door to vaccinate children against...

Protecting children across the border

Despite the security risks in one of the most unstable regions in the world, health volunteers and religious leaders work with GPEI partners to make Afghanistan...

Angola’s Ongoing Fight Against Polio: Leadership that Inspires Community Action

Angola’s Ongoing Fight Against Polio: Leadership that Inspires Community Action   UNICEF/2012/J. HackettMr. Jose Gomes Neto connects with the future of his community. Luanda, 12 July 2012 : “My proudest moment was being able...

Actress Mia Farrow promotes polio eradication in Africa

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo in February to promote polio eradication and other initiatives. “Children have a lot of challenges here anyway, and one we can eliminate is polio,” said Ms....

District Chief promotes OPV in Eastern Chad

English | Française In the small village of Mourou, located in the Guéréda District of Eastern Chad, traditions run deep. For the 200 families that live here, basic farms provide livelihood, and ancient...

Chadian Artists Come Together to End Polio

Chad’s most prominent artists came together on May 14, 2011 for a public concert to end Polio in Chad.  

Fighting Polio in Chad

After four years without a single polio case in Chad, the poliovirus returned with a vengeance in 2010. Today, Chad has one of the highest number of polio cases in the world. Click here to see why keeping polio...

STOP Volunteers battle the poliovirus in some of Chad’s toughest places

Follow one of CDC’s STOP Volunteers as she mobilizes parents for polio vaccination in some of Chad’s most difficult...

UNICEF leads community forums against polio in Eastern Chad

In three districts of Eastern Chad with recent cases of polio, namely Biltine, Guéréda and Am Dam, UNICEF organized on May 9 and 10 community forums, bringing together all local authorities, religious leaders, women and youth...

The Owl Approach: Night vaccination protects children of the DRC’s Kitawala religious group against polio - part 3

We whisper like thieves as we enter the Kadima Mission at night through the palms, their spikey shadows projected on the ground in the light of the moon. An Armed Kitawala named Kitobo leads the way, silent and barefoot. He guides the group away from the homes, and away from curious eyes.

The “Elephant King” of the Congo: Making a Powerful Ally in the Fight to End Polio - Part 2

Part 2: A Trojan Horse Strategy
At the entrance to the Kadima Mission, you are greeted with branches of acacia flowers. White doves are freed into the air around you. You cross the grounds of the mission, which belongs to the Filadelphie Kitawala sect in the southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The “Elephant King” of the Congo: Making a Powerful Ally in the Fight to End Polio - Part 1

Part 1: Gaining the Ear of an Elephant King
In the past, “PP2” – a charismatic pastor of the Kitawala Filadelphie Sect in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – counseled his religious followers to refuse vaccination against polio. Now he has begun to change his approach.

A question of trust: reasons for refusals revealed by DR Congo study

Overt and covert refusals contribute to as many as four out of ten missed children in DR Congo, one of the highest rates globally. As part of ongoing efforts to mobilize parents against polio, a key UNICEF led study has helped reveal the...

Actress Mia Farrow promotes polio eradication in Africa

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visited Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo in February to promote polio eradication and other initiatives. “Children have a lot of challenges here anyway, and one we can eliminate is polio,” said Ms....

In DR Congo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow encourages polio vaccination in reluctant communities

KASAMBONDO VILLAGE/NYUNZU/MUKAWA VILLAGE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 February 2012 – Pedaling by hand, Mulasi Husseini forces her wheelchair through the sand and into the eastern village of Kasambondo. Her...

Medical students join the fight against polio

  Agra medical students speak to a child’s parents about polio vaccination. In the district of Agra, in Western Uttar Pradesh, medical school students don’t just learn from books. They have taken an active role in...

Building a polio free India, brick by brick

  Polio message painted on a brick kiln chimney in Bihar’s Araria district. 25-year-old Geeta, a mother of three working at the local kiln, makes 300 bricks a day. “I don’t have time to even think about taking my children to the...

Two drops of henna

At the Mehandi Rachao Karyakram, women used the henna to show their commitment to a polio-free India. A mother’s painted hands depict the promise of “two drops of life” for her child. Each year in late July, Hindus...

Marking its first year without any polio cases, India takes a giant leap toward wiping out the disease

By Priyanka Pruthi   NEW YORK, USA, 16 January 2012 – Once recognized as the epicenter of the polio epidemic, India is now on the verge of creating history by stopping the transmission of polio.   As of January 13, the...

Amitabh Bachchan launches new Polio Communication Campaign

Mumbai, Dec 15: Lauding India’s unprecedented progress against polio, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Polio Eradication, Mr Amitabh Bachchan, today launched the new Communication Campaign for polio, appealing to parents and...

Two-time F1 World Champion and UNICEF ambassador Fernando Alonso appeals for a Polio-Free India, visits kids in Delhi hospital

New Delhi, October 27: “Every child deserves the right to run, to play and to live a healthy life without polio,” Fernando Alonso, two-time world champion Formula 1 Ferrari driver and UNICEF Ambassador, said today during a visit to...

India’s High Risk Strategy

Dr. Hamid Jafari, WHO Polio Team Leader for India, explains how the Indian programme reaches the hardest to reach children across Uttar Pradesh and...

India’s Final Countdown to Polio Eradication

With only 1 case so far this year, India is closer to the eradication goal than it’s ever been before. UNICEF-supported mobilizers are doing everything they can to ensure parents don’t lose sight of the...

Feeding Trust: Nigerian Community Mobilizers Fight Not Just Polio, But Malnutrition

Bichi, Kano State, Nigeria – In the old approach to polio eradication, you wouldn’t expect Volunteer Community Mobilizer Hauwa Ibrahim to pull a multicolored strip from under her blue hijab and wrap it around two-year-old Usman Abdulabi’s upper arm.

Two Drops for Mecca:
Mother of polio-affected girl opens doors to vaccination – and helps rid Nigeria of polio for good

Aisha may not be able to read, but she never forgets a name, or a child. Her own tragedy was too great.

"Where are Hassan, Hassana and the other kids?" Aisha asks the woman of the house from the doorway.

Nigeria declares “war” against polio

Kano State, northern Nigeria, where more than one-third of all children still remain under-immunized once again finds itself at the centre of the countries polio outbreak, currently with 62 cases. Along with other high-risk states, Kano embarked on a massive door-to-door polio immunization campaign between 7-10 July. Government, traditional and religious leaders, media, community health workers, and a wide range of stakeholders, collaborated to make this exercise a success.

Innovative smartphone partnership fights polio in northern Nigeria

As part of a ground-breaking public-private partnership to fight polio, Nigeria is harnessing the power of smartphones to monitor real-time performance of vaccination teams during door-to-door campaigns. Using GPS data, a specially designed android application helps map the location of communities in high-risk areas for polio, and for the first time enables monitoring of the quality and coverage of campaigns in real-time.

Traditional leaders play an influential role in combating polio in Nigeria’s Local Government Areas

Nigerian traditional leaders take on the role of change agents in support of vaccination efforts in the state of Zamfara, bringing them to the forefront of polio eradication efforts in high-risk states and Local Government Areas.

Launching a Volunteer Community Mobilizer Network

Nigeria launches a Volunteer Community Mobilizer Network to recruit, train and deploy 957 mobilizers to work in the settlements where missed children and refusals to OPV are the highest.   Zamfara, Nigeria -  10 April...

Nigeria's Kaduna State has kicked off the Polio Free Torch Campaign

Kaduna, 11th February 2012 – Nigeria’s Kaduna State has kicked off the Polio-Free Torch Campaign, as part of ongoing efforts to promote polio immunization and shore up stakeholders’ commitment to make Nigeria polio-free by...

Nigeria launches new campaign to overcome resistance to polio immunization

Abuja, 24 October 2011   Nigeria continues to experience a surge of polio cases, following a dramatic reduction of cases in 2010. The country remains the only polio-endemic country in Africa. The Federal Government of Nigeria with...

Fighting Polio in Nigeria

Nigeria reduced its polio cases by 95% between 2009 and 2010. Today, Nigeria has over 35 cases, compared to only six last year. The states of Borno, Kano and Kebbi account for over 65% of all cases nationally. Continued...

A Pakistani Mother: Unstoppable, Even by Polio

Stricken by polio at age two, Saima was partially paralysed. Yet already, as a girl, she refused to let the disease get the best of her. She limped down the long dusty road to school so often, and studied so hard, that she became the first woman in her family to go to college.

Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi joins the fight against polio

World famous cricketer Shahid Afridi becomes a Polio Champion in Pakistan   Islamabad, Pakistan  7 July  2012 - Cricketing superstar Shahid Afridi and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime now...

Every last child: reaching the hardest to reach in Pakistan

What does it take to reach every last child with OPV? Together with The Media Foundation, UNICEF Pakistan held a photo competition to find out.These photos tell the story of just how far polio frontline workers go to find and vaccinate the most...

‘PRiME’ing communities for OPV

While social data collection has been a growing part of the GPEI’s efforts over the past year, translating this data into action at community level is where many programmes still struggle. Pakistan’s new field monitoring system...

In Pakistan, religious leaders help change misconceptions about the polio vaccine

In many areas of Pakistan, religious beliefs and political affiliations influence public opinion. Imams are joining the fight against polio by reassuring everyone that no harm – medical, social or religious – comes from the...

Women march for polio eradication in Pakistan

Balochistan, Pakistan, 10 April 2012:Marking this year’s International Women’s Day, more than a hundred women took part in a walk to raise polio awareness in Jaffarabad, one of Balochistan’s high-risk...

In Pakistan, the 'United Against Polio' football tournament fights the scourge of polio

By Hameed Kashan KARACHI, Pakistan, 29 March 2012 – Amid cheers, the Frontier Mujahid team takes their victory lap. The football team has just defeated National Frontier 2-1 in the final, beating 15 other teams to win...

Pakistan’s first Nomadic Children’s Festival vaccinates over 1,400 against Polio

More than three thousand members of Punjab’s nomadic tribes converged at the Alhamra Cultural Complex, in Lahore, Pakistan on March 4 to eat, dance, and vaccinate children against polio.   Lahore, Pakistan, 4 March 2012 - More than...

South Sudan
Syria: Anatomy of an Outbreak

The numbers are staggering.
4,278,000 Syrian children have been displaced from their homes; live in poverty; or are caught in the lines of fire in their own country.
1,186,891 Syrian children have fled as refugees to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and other countries in North Africa.

Horn of Africa
One Small Step for a Child, One Giant Leap Toward Ending Polio Forever:
120 Low- and Middle-Income Countries Gain Low-Cost Access to IPV

Rarely has the sting of a needle been so welcome.

Maybe not to the Somali refugee toddler himself, who bellows as a needle stings one chubby thigh at Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. But the prick of that needle means we are one crucial...

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