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South Sudan to launch cholera vaccination campaign next Friday

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WHO receives 500 000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine for a planned campaign in South Sudan. WHO South Sudan (WHO/L. Luwaga photo)
July 21, 2017 (JUBA) — The UN World Health Organisation and the South Sudanese ministry of health will launch a cholera vaccination campaign next Friday, after a rise in cholera cases.

According to the UN body, 17 785 cholera cases including 320 (CFR 1.8%) deaths have been reported from 24 counties in South Sudan since the outbreak in June 2106.

In a statement released this week, WHO said it works with the with the Republic of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health and partners to scale up cholera vaccination campaign from 28 July to 3 August 2017.

WHO further said they received 500 000 doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) and they plan to use it to contain the outbreak which spreads along major commercial routes and rivers.

The campaign will cover areas with high active transmission including Tonj East, Kapoeta South, Kapoeta North and Kapoeta East counties. In Tonj East, the surrounding payams will be targeted to limit further spread of the outbreak.

The use of the OCV is one of the strategies available to prevent and combat outbreaks. At the same time, South Sudan is implementing the integrated approach for cholera control, said the statement.

WHO further said they will combine strategies for improving access to patient care, surveillance, social mobilisation, water, sanitation and hygiene, and use of oral cholera vaccines.

“Cholera is endemic in South Sudan and historically, outbreaks have occurred along major commercial routes and rivers in the dry season as well as during the rainy season,” said Dr Joseph Wamala, WHO Epidemiologist.

Cholera is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that results in an acute diarrheal illness. People acquire the disease through consumption of food or water contaminated with the bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

(ST)

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