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Jonglei: Women bring children for vaccinations against killer diseases

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September 16, 2013 (BOR) - Tens of thousands of children are being vaccinated against mealses, polio, tetanus, diphtheria (DPT), pertussis and tuberculosis (TB) in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.

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Map showing location of Jonglei state in South Sudan.

Daniel Joh one of the health workers at expanded program of immunization office in Bor told Sudan Tribune that oral polio vaccines were being administered and Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG), was being given at birth to prevent TB infection.

He added that measles vaccines are being provided to children, who are nine and over. New born babies are receiving Polio and DPT at one month intervals from the age of six weeks, Joh said.

“Our community has now known the importance of these vaccines. Before
when people were in the war, these diseases were killing a lot of children", explained Pach Kur who headed the team in one in Kolnyang payam [district] of Bor county.

South Sudan suffered over two decades of civil war until a 2005 peace deal gave the region to opportunity yo seceded from Sudan after a six year interim period. Despite the end of conflict with Khartoum South Sudan still has some of the worst statistics for development indicators in the world especially in terms of health.

But efforts such as this vaccination program in Jonglei are trying to address these issues.

Kur explained that after people receive their vaccines "they are told when the next vaccine will be given”.

The drugs and vaccines are provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and given to government to to be given out, he said.

Kur said most of Jonglei’s 11 counties were covered by the immunisation program. Each county has a supervisor and chain managers at the district level who would request and give out vaccines.

“Every primary health care [centre] has a fridge for keeping the vaccines”, said Kur.

Many women also attend antenatal care in Bor where they get immunised against tetanus, among the others each month.

(ST)

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