In December 2011, South Sudan celebrated five months of independence fromSudan – achieved on 9 July 2011. But scars left by a decades-long civil war arestill evident: widespread chronic food insecurity; acute malnutrition, exceeding20 per cent in certain areas; severely limited access to basic services, includinghealth care, improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities; andhigh rates of under-five and maternal mortality. Immunization coverage alsoremains low.More than two years have passed since the last case of polio was reported inwhat is now South Sudan. But the country’s proximity to the DemocraticRepublic of the Congo and Chad – both of which have suffered from importedwild poliovirus for over a year – leaves South Sudanese children at continuedrisk of the disease.United Nations organizations, including UNICEF and the World HealthOrganization (WHO), together with other partners, are supporting theGovernment’s efforts to keep the country polio-free. In 2011, over 3 millionunder-five children were vaccinated against polio in each of four immunizationcampaigns.