CERF allocates $1.5 million to fight polio outbreak in Kenya

 11 July 2013: On 17 May 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health declared a public health emergency following an acute wild polio virus outbreak. The outbreak happened in the Dadaab refugee camps, where more than 424,000 people currently live.

Polio can cause paralysis among children and death among adults. Since April 2013, 12 people in the age range from four months to 19 years have contracted polio. The virus originated in Somalia and was spread through Somali refugees residing in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya. Dysfunctional immunization systems in Somalia due to violent conflicts and the high potential risk of the spread of the polio virus to the entire Horn of Africa call for immediate action.

In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated a rapid response grant of US$1,532,872 to three cooperating United Nations agencies. The allocations are expected to help 4.4 million people.

With an allocation of $290,774, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) uses their $290,744 CERF allocation to monitor the response activities and provide technical support. With $921,495, the World Health Organization (WHO) will implement a vaccination campaign and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will $320,603 will assist in the vaccination campaign and provide logistic support for the distribution of the vaccines.