Home | News    Wednesday 9 November 2011

Mass polio vaccination campaign kicks off in S. Sudan

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By Julius N. Uma

November 7, 2011 (JUBA) - A mass Polio vaccination of children less than five years old has began in South Sudan on Tuesday as health officials and development partners seek to make Africa’s newest nation free from the deadly disease that cripples children.

The four-day campaign, targeting an estimated three million children is spearheaded by the country’s health ministry in partnership with United Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Japanese government and Center for Disease Control (CDC).

At least two drops of the vaccine is administered per child. To be successful, the immunisation campaign will be conducted four times a year.

In his address during last week’s colourful launch of the campaign, Dr. Michael Millie Hussein, South Sudan’s health minister remained optimistic that the house to house initiative make the country polio free.

A total of 20,000 volunteers, Dr. Hussein added, have been earmarked to embark on the nationwide exercise, which takes place from 8-12 November.

“This Polio campaign is very timely in that it remains in line with the health ministry’s 100 days programme of effective service delivery initiated by president Salva Kiir,” said Dr. Hussein, lauding the various development partners for their contributions.

To date, over 720,000 children have reportedly benefited from this Polio vaccination campaign, believed to have achieved 72% coverage across South Sudan. The last Polio case, officials told Sudan Tribune, was reported 27 months ago.

Pelucy Ntambirweki, UNICEF’s chief of programmes said she was overwhelmed by the turnout of parents at the campaign launch and pledged the organisations firm commitment to make South Sudan a Polio free society.

(ST)

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