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MSF completes cholera vaccination campaign in S. Sudan capital

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September 3, 2015 (JUBA) - The international medical organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced Thursday that it had completed a targeted cholera vaccination campaign, reaching over 160,000 people in the South Sudan capital, Juba.

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A child receives an oral cholera vaccine dose in the South Sudan capital, Juba (Medair Photo)

The campaign done in coordination with the country’s health ministry provides additional protection against cholera to people living in areas most-affected by the current outbreak, helping to reduce spread of cholera within those neighborhoods.

According to MSF, the first phase of the campaign from 31 July to 8 August, saw over 138,000 people vaccinated at 21 vaccination points across Juba, while in the second phase (9 August to 26 August), MSF said it increased the level of targeting by providing vaccinations to populations in areas with confirmed Cholera cases.

Over 22,000 people across Juba were reportedly vaccinated during the second phase.

“The campaign aims to reduce transmission of cholera within the most-affected areas of Juba,” said MSF medical advisor, Barbara Rusch.

“At the same time, the goal of the targeting strategy is to help bring an end to the present outbreak of cholera in Juba as quickly as possible,” she added.

In July, following the outbreak of the Cholera epidemic, MSF opened a cholera treatment centre in Juba, undertaken in coordination with the country’s health ministry, which has reportedly provided care to 77 patients. In Bor state hospital, in Jonglei state, MSF said it has treated 136 suspected cholera cases as well as providing technical capacity and logistical support to the treatment unit in the hospital.

“To date, 1,538 cholera cases and 45 deaths have been reported in Juba County in an outbreak that was declared by the Ministry of Health on June 23,” the agency said in a statement issued Thursday.

136 suspected cases, including one death, it said, have been reported in Bor, Jonglei state. The rate of cholera transmission in South Sudan, MSF revealed, has in recent weeks decreased from a peak of 235 cases per week in late June to less than 50 cases.

The international medical charity, however, said it would continue to closely monitor the Cholera situation and respond if the need arises.

(ST)

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