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S. Sudan immunisation campaign underway amid insecurity

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April 27, 2014 (JUBA) – Seven South Sudan states will benefit from immunisation campaign initiated by the health ministry in collaboration with its partners.

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Salva Kiir administers Polio vaccine to a child as the mother looks on (photo: A. W. Dhal)

“The government and its partners are working on modalities of how to reach children in these areas [but] it may take a little longer,” said health minister Riek Gai.

The campaign, he stressed, would exclude children in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states due to insecurity caused by fighting between rival forces in the country.

“These children will benefit from the second round of immunisation,” Gai said.

More than 2 million children under five will receive measles vaccines and vitamin A supplementation, while 2.4 million children will receive polio vaccines, officials said.

The campaign, which runs untill 30 April, will involve parents and guardians taking their children to designated immunisation centres across the seven targeted states.

“We will do everything to ensure that every child in this country is vaccinated,” the minister said.

South Sudan was declared a polio free country in 2009. However, an outbreak of the disease last year prompted an emergency heath declaration.

(ST)

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