Humanitarian Health Action

WHO vaccinates thousands of children in Bor, Jonglei State – South Sudan

Measles vaccines
WHO/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
Measles vaccines

3 February 2014. Juba, South Sudan -- The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an emergency vaccination in campaign in Bor, capital of Jonglei State in South Sudan following reports of deaths due to suspected measles cases. The area has been and the accessibility over the past 3 weeks.

WHO deployed a technical team to the Bor Protection of Civilians (IDP) camp to vaccinate 2559 children against measles and 2817 against polio. Vitamin A supplementation was given to 1935 children.

“Through the early warning surveillance system set up at the IDP camps, WHO received information of suspected measles cases and death due to suspected measles in Bor PoC IDP camp”, said Dr Abdi Aden Mohamed, the WHO Representative in South Sudan. He added that “WHO quickly responded by deploying a technical team to assist in investigating the suspected cases and deaths and supporting vaccination campaigns in the area”.

In addition to the Bor camp, WHO has supported disease investigation and vaccination efforts in a number of camps including UNMISS Tomping, Juba III IDP camps in Juba, Malakal PoC, Bentiu and Awerial.

The displaced communities and their leaders were mobilized along with 42 vaccinators and supervisors to carry out the campaign. A post evaluation of the three day campaign showed a 97% coverage for polio and a 98% coverage for measles and Vitamin A.

Investigations carried out on deaths in the camps indicate that 30 of them were attributed to measles. Over the past weeks, WHO has worked with other partners including UNICEF, MSF, MEDAIR, CCM, GOAL and IMC to vaccinate a total of 83 651 children against measles. The Organization continues to carry out disease surveillance to promtly investigate suspected measles case or suspected cases of any other disease with epidemic potential.