At almost one year polio free, Iraq continues national polio vaccination campaigns

Baghdad, 3 March 2015 – A national polio vaccination campaign commenced in Iraq on 22 February 2015 aiming to reach 5.9 million children under five years old regardless of their previous vaccination status. In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, children from 9 months to 5 years will also be given a measles vaccine, in addition to the oral polio vaccine. 

In March 2014, the Ministry of Health of Iraq declared a polio outbreak when a child in the Al-Rusafa area in the capital Baghdad was diagnosed with polio. This was the first case detected in Iraq after the country had succeeded in stopping transmission of the virus in 2000. In recognition of the risk of further spread, federal and regional governments, along with United Nations agencies, conducted emergency vaccination campaigns to reach 5.9 million children under 5 in 2014. 

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In focus

Situation updates 2015

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Key health-related statistics

Total population 35 095
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 4.4
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 67
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.8
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 70.0

Source: Country statistical profiles (2014)

See Iraq country profile

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Iraq WHO headquarters page