Ministry administers Cholera vaccine to avert outbreak

Ministry administers Cholera vaccine to avert outbreak
Ministry administers Cholera vaccine to avert outbreak

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. The Ministry of Health has said it has embarked on an oral cholera vaccination programme after identifying 20 hot spots across the country.

The Director-General for Preventive Health Services at the Ministry of Health, John Rumunu, said they have begun a countrywide assessment to reduce cholera risk.

“We have identified about 20 cholera hot spots in counties. We have prioritised Rubkona in Bentiu because of the floods and the number of internally displaced persons has also increased in the town, ” he said.

Rumunu said the ministry of health and its partners had also launched oral cholera vaccination, with a first-round already commenced in Rubkona County and the Bentiu IDP Camp in Unity State.

“With the support of our partners, UNICEF and IOM we have about 171,500 doses of oral cholera vaccine and our target is 171,024 individuals to be vaccinated, ” he said.

Juba is among the counties identified due to the perverse cholera outbreaks in the country.

Rumunu said the training for the entire vaccination team had been completed.

The cholera outbreak was last reported in South Sudan in 2017. According to UNICEF South Sudan’s report, the case fatality rate for 2017 was higher than those of the previous three years, with at least 69 per cent of deaths occurring at the community level.

The report also established that factors that contributed to the high number of community deaths included poor treatment-seeking behaviour. Such include the use of traditional medicine before seeking healthcare; low awareness about cholera; geographical inaccessibility of affected areas, where communities are also dispersed; poor communication in affected areas; and limited humanitarian partner presence.

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