October 20, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - A national campaign aiming to eradicate Polio in Sudan will be carried next month in all the states including South Korodfan and Blue Nile and in coordination with the South Sudan, announced the head of Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) on Sunday.
- Children vaccinated in a Khartoum school in a nationwide campaign aiming to immunize 9 million children against polio and help rid Sudan of the disease, on 16 February 2009 (Photo: Johann Hattingh/UNMIS)
Three cases of polio have been detected in South Sudan two in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and one in Eastern Equatoria states. Previously similar cases had been discovered in Somalia, Kenya and lately Ethiopia forcing the UN health organisation (WHO) to launch immunisation campaigns in the three countries since last September.
Sudan as the three other East African nations had been declared polio-free countries but this status is now no longer applies.
In statements released on Sunday, the HAC’s chairman, Suleiman Abdel Rahman, said that the Sudanese health ministry in partnership with the UNICEF and WHO will launch a nationwide campaign to contain the polio outbreak in the region.
He added that the campaign include the rebel held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in coordination with the members of the tripartite initiative, UN, African Union and Arab League.
Abdel Rahman further stressed that the Sudanese army set plans for a cessation of hostilities to coincide with agenda of the national immunization campaign which will start on 5 November.
UN Security Council called on the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N, on 11 October to seal a deal over technical details to implement the vaccination campaign "as proposed by UN OCHA, UNICEF and WHO as soon as possible in order for the two-week vaccination campaign to go forward in South Kordofan and Blue Nile on 5 November as planned".
The SPLM-N did not make a public position on the matter. The rebel group demanded last month to hold direct talks with the Sudanese government brokered by the African Union mediation over the cessation of hostilities and other arrangements but Khartoum declined the request.