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Kenya Vaccinates 5 Million Against Polio Amid Health Emergency

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Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya, which has declared a polio outbreak a public emergency, vaccinated more than 5 million children to curb the spread of the viral disease after a spate of cases in eastern Africa, the United Nations said.

While Kenya has confirmed 14 cases of polio since May 14 when the first case in almost three decades was detected, none have been recorded in the past four months, according to the UN Children’s Fund. The outbreak in the region has been the worst in neighboring Somalia, where vaccination efforts have been prevented by a more than two-decade-long civil war.

“Kenya remains at risk and needs to continue to respond aggressively and remain vigilant to ensure high population immunity,” Unicef said in an e-mailed responses to questions. Unicef targets immunizing 8.3 million Kenyans under five years of age.

As of Oct. 17, about 175 polio cases were reported in Somalia, six in the Somali region of Ethiopia and three suspected cases in South Sudan, according to Unicef.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Malingha Doya in Nairobi at dmalingha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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