South Sudan’s ministry of health in collaboration with UNICEF on Tuesday announced it has launched a nationwide vaccination campaign targeting three million children under five years.
Dr. Yatta Loli Lugar, Deputy Minister of Health described measles as one of the leading causes of death among young children, noting that every year about 164,000 children around the world die from the disease, with most of these deaths occurring in developing countries.
South Sudan low low measles immunisation coverage meant that the incidence of measles in the world’s youngest country was alarmingly high. However, the official pointed out that between 2008 and 2011 in some areas of South Sudan no cases had been confirmed.
The deputy minister said South Sudan that this year’s vaccination campaign would target central locations such as health centers, markets, and community centers.
He revealed that in South Sudan according to latest multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS 2010), 86% of children have already been vaccinated for measles.
He said that due to consistent high measles vaccine coverage, fewer and fewer cases of measles have been recorded in the country and that the government is pleased to be working in close partnership with UNICEF to provide the required technical, financial and logistical support for the campaign.