22:46 GMT14 April 2021
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    The UNICEF completed the first round of a polio vaccination campaign in Yemen, reaching 5 million children.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The UNICEF said Thursday that it had completed the first round of a polio vaccination campaign in Yemen, reaching 5 million children under the age of five, amid the escalating humanitarian crisis and the threat of famine in the war-torn country.

    “In the last two years, more children have died from preventable diseases than those killed in the violence … This is why vaccination campaigns are so crucial to save the lives of Yemen's children and to secure their future,” Meritxell Relano, the UNICEF representative in Yemen said in a press release.

    The children were given oral polio vaccine and vitamin A supplementation. The UN fund used mobile health teams in order to reach the children in the regions difficult to access, including the epicenters of war, the press release read.

    In January 2016, the United Nations reported 500,000 children were in danger of dying from malnutrition, while another 8.3 million children could not access health services in Yemen.

    Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government and the Houthis movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. A Saudi-led coalition of Persian Gulf countries intervened the same month and has since been criticized for hitting civilians, causing disproportional child casualties and damaging vital non-military infrastructure.


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