UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched a polio vaccination campaign for 23 million children in the Middle East. The campaign will be largest-ever immunisation response in the region, WHO and the UN children's fund said in a joint statement. WHO has said the vaccinations would take place in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Turkey. Syrian refugees fleeing their country's conflict have taken shelter in surrounding states, particularly Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. The vaccination campaign comes after the discovery of polio in Syria for the first time since 1999. The statement said at least 17 children had been paralysed by polio, 15 of them in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, large swathes of which are under rebel control. The other two cases were recorded in Aleppo in the north, and in Douma, near the capital Damascus. "Inside Syria, the campaign aims to reach 2.2 million children, including those who live in contested areas and those who were missed in an earlier campaign," the statement said. But the organisations noted that many children in Syria remain inaccessible to the vaccination campaign because of the ongoing conflict. "All Syrian children should be protected from disease," said Ala Alwan, WHO's regional director. "We appeal to all parties of the conflict in Syria to cooperate and facilitate pauses in hostilities over the coming six months to allow vaccination campaigns to reach all children." Health groups consider there to be a high risk of polio spreading in the region. The strain of the disease detected in Syria is related to a strain that originated in Pakistan and has also been detected in sewage samples in Egypt, Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel itself has launched an emergency innoculation campaign.Source: AFP << New Way to Treat Brain Cancer Identified Successful IVF Conception Low Among Women in Their Mid-30s >> Recommended Reading Poliomyelitis Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It results in paralysis and generally affects people of all age groups, children being more susceptible READ MORE Vaccination for Children Vaccines are biological products that impart immunity to the recipient. Vaccines may be live attenuated, killed or toxoids. READ MORE WHO Says Polio Cases Continuing to Rise in Pakistan The World Health Organization revealed that 72 new cases of polio have been recorded in Pakistan in 2013, up from 58 cases in 2012. READ MORE Hypermobility Syndrome Hypermobility Syndrome is a condition in which a person can move his joints far beyond the normal range. READ MORE Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked Childhood vaccination has saved many lives, yet lots more has to be done to increase awareness and eliminate myths regarding vaccines. READ MORE Traveling with Children Abroad? - Parents, Stay Alert! Traveling with children is always challenging as it involves careful planning. Here are some precautions that need to be taken when traveling abroad with kids. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Find a Doctor Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips More News on: Height and Weight-KidsPoliomyelitisHypermobility SyndromeTop 10 Vaccine Myths DebunkedTraveling with Children Abroad? - Parents, Stay Alert!