Somalia: Three years polio-free


This year, Somalia is celebrating three years of being polio-free, with no cases of wild poliovirus in Somalia since 25 March 2007.

Polio eradication in Somalia is a historic achievement in public health because it happened against a backdrop of widespread conflict, large population displacements and a barely-functioning health infrastructure.

Credit goes to the tens of thousands dedicated Somali volunteers and health workers. They risked their lives repeatedly to vaccinate more than 1.8 million children under five, in every round of national immunization days (NIDs), by going house to house in villages and settlements across the country.

This photo gallery illustrates various aspects of the vaccination campaign.

All images may be downloaded and used, provided credit is given to WHO and photographers as mentioned with individual photos.

A baby being vaccinated against polio

Over 1.8 million children under five years of age have been vaccinated against polio for each national immunization day (NID).

A social mobilization team disseminates messages through loudspeakers

Social mobilization teams disseminate immunization messages through loudspeakers to parents/care-givers in villages and settlements to ensure children are vaccinated.

A vaccination team marks a family's door to indicate that the children have been vaccinated against polio

A vaccination team marks a family's door, indicating that the house was visited and the children have been vaccinated against polio.

Two men carry a cooler box which keeps the vaccine chilled

Maintaining the cold chain (keeping vaccine chilled) as it is delivered is a major challenge.

A polio vaccination team working with the local community

Polio vaccination teams are selected from the local community, facilitating trust, acceptance and encouraging the population to vaccinate their children.

A child undergoing nutritional screening

A child undergoes a nutritional screening as part of a UNICEF and WHO package of child health services including: Vitamin A, de-worming tablets, and vaccines against measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, Tetanus, and polio.

A polio immunization team meets to plan for the upcoming days

A polio immunization team evaluates its day and plans how it can reach children who were missed during upcoming days.