Can We Pause Combat to Deliver Vaccines? It’s Worked Before!


January 10, 2014

In response to a number of polio cases in the Horn of Africa and in the Middle East, International Medical Corps is requesting a cease-fire so health workers can urgently reach and immunize children against polio and such infectious diseases.

PolioPetitionDays of Tranquility is a technique first used in 1985 when James P. Grant, executive director of UNICEF, convinced the government of El Salvador to cease fighting for one day per month for three consecutive months so that children younger than 5 could be immunized. It worked again in the late 1980s in South Sudan. When all parties halt fighting, UNICEF and other Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) like International Medical Corps are able to reach and immunize children at risk of contracting polio and other diseases.

A Care2 Petition has been set up to support International Medical Corps in establishing Days of Tranquility enabling them to reach those most vulnerable in conflict zones in Syria, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and in Somalia. Time is of the essence! We are so close to ending polio worldwide.

Take Action Challenge

Read more about Days of Tranquility in this piece from the LA Times. Then sign the petition to help International Medical Corps in establishing Days of Tranquility so we can protect the children in these conflict zones and end polio once and for all. Remember to share the petition with your friends!


Image: A Pakistani police officer stands guard as a health worker marks a child after giving her the polio vaccine in Lahore. Polio immunization workers have been killed in Pakistan and Nigeria recently. Credit: Arif Ali / AFP/Getty Images File Photo

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