With the influx of more than 3 million refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria to neighboring countries, the region has become susceptible to an outbreak of this highly infectious disease. There is a real concern that the reappearance of the virus in the Middle East and the high levels of population displacement might lead to the spread of the outbreak beyond Syria and Iraq. Lebanon hosts the largest number of families displaced by the Syrian crisis over half of which are children, many living in informal tented settlements with little or no access to basic services
In order to stop the outbreak and prevent further spread, Health organizations aim to vaccinate, repeatedly all children under the age of five. As the Syria's brutal conflict continues to spill over its borders, aid workers know they have to act fast, since viruses can often spread quicker than violence. Highly contagious and potentially deadly, the crippling and incurable disease recently re-emerged in Syria. Health organizations have launched a large communication and social mobilization drive emphasizing the importance of vaccinating all children under five. Hundreds of thousands of leaflets, posters, a radio spot and a cartoon TV spot will aid social mobilization teams in raising awareness of the critical importance of vaccinating children against polio
Lebanon is determined to maintain its record in being polio-free for the latest 12years.
The last polio case in Lebanon was reported on June 8th, 1994. A case was reported in January 2003 and was found to be caused by a virus closely related to the strains circulating in India