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MSF Targets 200,000 in cholera vaccination campaign

By Jale Richard

A new cholera vaccination campaign being conducted by Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) that started last week is targeting 200,000 people in different sites in Juba, Marik Bol Marik, MSF Team Supervisor of the campaign said on Friday.

He said the oral cholera vaccination was suitable for children from one year old to adults.

This comes after World Health Organization (WHO) last month concluded the first round of an Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign in four priority counties of South Sudan including Kapoeta and Tonj East, areas with active transmission of cholera.

South Sudan has suffered from several major cholera outbreaks in the last four years.

The WHO said last month that over 19,000 cases of cholera and 355 deaths have been reported in South Sudan since June, 2016.

Marik said “When you receive first dose of the vaccination, you are protected for one to two years if you get the second does then you are protected for up to five years,” he said.

However, Marik said those who have been vaccinated should still practice good hygiene and sanitation because the vaccines cannot protect people fully.

“It is really very important like the sites that we chose to do the vaccinations, are areas where we often have cholera cases. If these areas are vaccinated, we will break the chain of cholera every year,” he said.

The campaign that will run for three weeks will cover parts of Gumbo, Kator, Gudele, all Protection of Civilians’ (PoC) sites and the whole of Munuki.

Aleyo Santa who got vaccinated together with her two children said now she would not worry of the outbreak of cholera in the area every year. “I will wait for the second dose and after getting the second dose, cholera will not be a worry in my home. I will convince my husband to also get vaccinated,” she said.

For Arkangelo Laku, getting vaccinated is like wearing life vest while crossing a river. “This vaccination is good because it protects us from getting cholera. It is like wearing a life vest while crossing a river so that incase of any emergency, you will not die,” he said.

However, the team supervisor of MSF said response of men to the vaccination is very poor while women and children are responding well.

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