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Two drops and many tears protecting against polio, one of the most devastating childhood diseases. This government clinic is packed with parents anxious to vaccinate their children Arishia has brought her two daughters. "I feel sad for the children who got polio", she tells me. But thank God we have the vaccines here. This centre in Damascus has some of the best health care there is in Syria. The families here know it's safe to bring their children It's not the same across the rest of the country. Syria used to be polio free since the late 1990's. And now in the Northeast in the area torn by fighting... ...there are at least ten confirmed cases, and fears that they could be more. Some of those cases were brought here to the children's hospital in the capital They've been discharged, but the hospital is on alert for any children with possible symptoms. Doctor Nidal Abu-Rashid oversees this process. She is in charge of the Government Immunization Program It's a sudden disease with a flu-like symptoms. Children might become paralysed in one or both legs. This is a huge challenge and I will fight until there is no more polio in Syria. It's hard to fight this disease in the midst of war. AID Agency says that half a million children need to be urgently vaccinated. In some areas it is really difficult to implement the door to door vaccination. If we want to contro the outbreak, the campaign should be very short... ...and very wide. And this is the real problem that we are facing. We don't have access to all the high risk areas. Under growing pressure, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister called in the press to highlight the humanitarian crisis. Syria is responsible for every child, he said. To ensure that every child is vaccinated against polio, is the government prepared to do everything possible... ...including in some areas working with the opposition? As far as the cooperation with armed groups, with terrorist groups We believe they have to accept that this medicine should reach each child. And usually we asked the United Nations Organization in Syria to make the necessary contacts. And we shall help in this direction. To protect their children AID agencies are calling on all sides to ceasefire to allow vaccinations The opposition accuses the government of blocking in medical aid to areas to their control. This disease spreads fast and with thousands of Syrians crossing borders every day... ... to escape the war, polio threatens, not just Syria. Lyse Douset, BBC News, Damascus.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 74
Posted by: mvalles on Feb 16, 2014

Polio outbreak in Syria

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