BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 10:17 GMT
Polio campaign launched in Iraq
Iraqi children
Unicef hopes to vaccinate 4 million Iraqi children

The UN children's agency Unicef is to vaccinate four million Iraqi children against polio.

Polio, which can maim or kill children, has been virtually wiped out in the developed world but Iraq's shattered health system makes it uniquely vulnerable.

The last major outbreak there occurred as recently as 1999.

Children┐s' hospital in Iraq
Iraq's health system has suffered under sanctions
Despite the imminent threat of war, Unicef is going ahead with a vaccination programme at the end of next week.

In order to work it is important that all children are vaccinated at the same time which will involve 14,000 health workers going out across the country, aiming to protect millions of children.

Unicef is also trying to vaccinate more children against measles.

The Secretary General Carol Bellamy said she hopes that peace will prevail but Unicef is ready if war comes.

Preparations

Hundreds of tonnes of food aid are already pre-positioned in countries surrounding Iraq to deal with the expected flood of refugees if bombs start to fall.

The concern of many international agencies is that people who are already dependent on food aid will face added hardship if there is a war which goes on for any time at all.

A quarter of Iraq's people have no access to clean drinking water and a third of its children are malnourished.

If America goes to war without UN Security Council backing the job of UN agencies in mopping up after a war would be made that much harder.


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes