Home | News    Tuesday 29 May 2018

MSF vaccinates more than 200,000 people in S. Sudan

May 28, 2018 (JUBA) – The medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said it concluded a four-week preventive oral vaccination campaign conducted in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

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Oral cholera vaccination site in Nuru Baptist Church area, Juba (MSF photo)

Working with the health authorities and partners, the organisation said it vaccinated over 200,000 people against the deadly disease.

The preventive vaccination campaign, MSF said in a statement, was held from 24 April to 22 May 22 12 areas of Juba where people were identified most at risk in previous cholera outbreaks.

During the past four weeks, 201,737 people above the age of 12 months were vaccinated against the disease, the agency noted.

The preventive campaign was reportedly the second round of an earlier campaign MSF conducted in September and October 2017, which reached nearly 200,000 people in the same areas.

“Through the work of MSF’s teams, health authorities and partners, over 200,000 women, men and children were vaccinated during this preventive campaign, with over half receiving a second dose of the vaccine. The second dose will provide even better protection against the deadly disease in areas of historically high rates of cholera transmission”, said Will Harper, MSF head of South Sudan mission.

“The campaign has helped to provide protection to a population that most needs it, at a critical time now that the rainy season has started”, he added.

In February, the health authorities in South Sudan declared the end of its longest and most recent cholera epidemic, with 20,000 suspected cases and 436 deaths reported in the war-torn country.

The risks of cholera are increased by the inadequacy of water sources and sanitation facilities. The rainy season will most likely increase these risks, as directly impacting the speed and range of transmission of the disease. Proper hygiene practices are also fundamental as preventive measures.

Millions of people around the world continue to be affected by cholera every year, with up to 140,000 deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization.

In recent years, however, MSF said it has carried out oral cholera vaccinations campaigns, both to prevent and to contain epidemics, supported water and sanitation activities, and treated thousands of cholera patients in multiple areas of South Sudan.

(ST)