More than one million polio vaccines meant for children have been destroyed in Sudan as a result of looting during an increase in violence since April, the UN children’s agency UNICEF told Reuters on Friday.
“Several cold chain facilities have been looted, damaged and destroyed, including more than one million polio vaccines in South Darfur,” Hazel de Wet, deputy director of UNICEF’s emergency programs office, told Reuters in an email.
The agency was in the middle of a series of polio vaccination campaigns in Sudan following the outbreak in late 2022.
Polio, a disease that mainly affects children under the age of 5, can cause 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 care facilities in Sudan since the start of a conflict last month pitted by Sudan’s army against the paramilitary Rapid Support Force.
Several humanitarian agencies have reported looting during the Sudan crisis, including the World Food Program, which said it lost $13–14 million worth of supplies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)