Mass immunization campaigns intended to provide two doses of oral polio vaccine to all children under five years of age are fundamental to the strategy for interrupting the transmission of poliovirus. Efforts to hold national immunization days can be hampered by conflict, poor infrastructure and geographical position. In spite of these challenges, 1998 saw NIDs or sub-national immunization days (SNIDs) reaching over 450 million children in 97 countries.
|These images were taken during the recent fourth Yemen National Immunization Days for polio eradication, conducted in two rounds in October and November 1999.|
|NIDs in Yemen are the largest single public health activity in the
year, involving thousands of health workers and volunteers
as well as many sectors and groups in society.
|During the 1999 NIDs, 3.7 and 3.9 million children under 5 yrs were immunized during the two rounds, respectively. Although population figures in Yemen are not very reliable, it is assumed that NIDs have therefore been very successful, covering more than 90% of all children aged < 5 years in Yemen's 301 districts.|
|As documented in the image series, Yemen's geography and infrastructure present serious challenges to the programme in trying to reach children in all parts of the country.|
|Despite these difficulties, the number of children immunized every year during NIDs continues to increase, indicating that the quality of NIDs in reaching previously unvaccinated children is better than ever.|
|More recently, Yemen has also established and improved the reporting system for suspect polio cases to assure that the effect of NIDs and immunization activities in eradicating polio can be measured, and to avoid missing any new polio cases.|
For more information on the Polio Eradication Initiative please visit the Polio Homepage.