Home | News    Sunday 7 August 2011

Ethiopia, UNHCR begin measles vaccinations for refugees from famine stricken Somalia


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

August 6, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Saturday launched a joint vaccination campaign for famine-displaced Somali children in in south-eastern Ethiopia following a suspected measles outbreak.

According to the UN around 640,000 children are acutely malnourished in Somalia, forcing many to flee to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia. The United States says that in the last three months over 29,000 children under five years old have died as a result of the drought and famine just in southern Somalia.

In the Horn of Africa as a whole more than 12 million people are estimated to be in need of immediate food aid. UNHCR said it was alarmed by a suspected measles outbreak among Somali refugees in Ethiopia’s Dollo Ado camps and urged a rapid response.

Moses Okello, UNHCR’s Representative in Ethiopia said he was "shaken" by the situation in the Dollo Ado camps, held an urgent meeting Saturday with Ethiopian Government officials and UNHCR health partners to agree a plan of action.

He said the UNICEF and WHO, through Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, are providing the needed vaccines.

“This situation is alarming and we cannot afford to wait. We must act now, urgently and decisively, to arrest and turn around this situation,” said Moses Okello, UNHCR’s Representative in Ethiopia.

The UN body said a team of health experts have left for the Dollo Ado camps on Saturday to reach thousands of vulnerable children who are facing threats from teh suspected measles outbreak.

Out of the 25,000 people in Kobe camp — the most affected of the Dollo Ado camps — there have been 47 recorded measles deaths, the office of the UN’s Refugee Agency in a statement. There were reports of 25 measles deaths in a single day earlier this month by local health workers.

Vaccination of all children between the ages of six months and 15 years of age was started Friday August 5 for all refugee children being transferred from the transit centre to the newly-opened Hilaweyn camps.

Following Saturday’s meeting, UNHCR and the government will lead a UN/NGO team of health experts to Dollo Ado on Sunday, 7 August to support the roll-out of a plan of action which includes the preparation of a mass vaccination campaign to begin August 9 for all children aged six months to 15 years in Kobe camp.

The vaccination campaign which will include vaccination against polio will be extended to the other camps as well as to the hosting communities where deemed necessary by the health authorities.

The suspected outbreak combined with the fragile health of most of the over 100,000 refugees in the Dollo Ado camps "could lead to high mortality and serious illness" UNHCR said. As of August 5 the population of the camps was estimated to have reached 118,400.

Nearly 78,000 of them arrived this year. This is in addition to more than 41,600 Somali refugees in the Jijiga area of the Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region.

Ethiopia hosts a total of 237,500 refugees, mainly from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

SOUTH SUDAN: peace or genocide? 2015-10-07 12:59:30 By Richard Moula President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has once again declared a war of genocide and ethnic cleansing on the small ethnic tribe of Moru in Western Equatoria. As from 16th (...)

G-10 critique of establishment order is a complete baloney 2015-10-07 12:59:22 By Gordon Buay Muolana John Luk must be joking to argue that the Establishment Order that created the 28 states violated South Sudan Transitional Constitution without admitting that the (...)

Why rejecting creation of more states in South Sudan? 2015-10-05 16:31:37 By Peter Gai Manyuon South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has unilaterally decreed expansion of the current Ten (10) states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)

Ambassador Buay congratulates South Sudanese diplomats for blocking sanctions 2015-09-19 00:20:30 SOUTH SUDAN DIPLOMATS IN MOSCOW SHOULD BE CONGRATULATED FOR PERSUADING THE FEDERATION OF RUSSIA TO BLOCK SANCTIONS For Immediate Release 9/18/2015 The people of South Sudan are extremely (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.