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South Sudan vaccinates over 690, 000 children against measles

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November 24, 2020 (JUBA) - The second phase of the measles follow up campaign to vaccinate over 690,000 children aged 6-59 months against measles to ensure continuation of immunization activities commenced on November 15, despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Three-year-old Sarah is immunised against measles in South Sudan (Photo: UNICEF)

The campaigns, organized and led by the Ministry of Health with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, World Health Organisation (WHO), UN Children Fund (UNICEF) and other partners, are part of the efforts to ensure immunization stays in the forefront of primary health care to protect children and future generations.

Over 6,000 trained vaccinators are reportedly carrying out the campaign using facility-based services to reach all eligible children no matter where they live.

According to WHO, since beginning of year, 1,115 measles cases and 10 deaths have been reported in South Sudan, with all cases being in children under five years.

It further noted that immunizing all children against measles can eliminate measles as a cause of death. This can only be possible if population immunity was kept at more than 95 % over long periods through routine immunization and supplementary activities.

“The commitment of health workers to reach as many children as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic and severe flooding is really to be commended”, said Dr. Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan.

“The implementation of vaccination campaigns is a strong opportunity to reach children with life-saving interventions”, he added.

The measles immunisation campaign will take place in 25 counties of Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states of South Sudan.

(ST)

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