Cover Story

Vaccination Week Launched


A child receives a vaccination in South Sudan (photo credit:  IOM):

By Rose Keji Benjamin and Kitab A. Unango

The Ministry of Health and partners on Tuesday launched a vaccination campaign week against eight communicable diseases at Al-Shabbah Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Samson Baba the Adviser to the Minister of Health said the launch was aimed at promoting the use of vaccines to protect children and women in reproductive age against vaccine preventable diseases.

“This campaign is to promote cost effective vaccination to protect millions from preventable diseases by 2020 through universal access to immunization,” Dr. Baba said.

He said the objective was to raise awareness among communities, parliamentarians, partners, stakeholders and the media about the importance of immunization.

Dr. Baba appealed to the mothers to take their children to the nearest health center.

“Vaccination is a right for every child in South Sudan. It is important that we as custodians make this a reality,” he added.

He expressed the commitment of the government by contributing together with World Health Organization (WHO).

On her part, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Rachel Seruyange pointed out that every person had a role to play to ensure that every child was vaccinated to protect them against deadly diseases.

She added that African vaccination week was a strategy to reach out to people with little or no access to adequate medical care.

Rachel said WHO stands with the government in their efforts to fight against diseases to ensure people of South Sudan have access to the medical care.

However she said South Sudan has remained polio free for the last eight years with a lot of efforts put into remaining polio free, “these gains have not fully translated into high routine immunization.”

The Africa Vaccine Week (AVW) is an opportunity for the country to raise awareness on the importance of every person’s need and the right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, she said.

Speaking at the event, the representative of Jubek State Ministry of Health Jamal Hassan Juma mentioned that the government supported the initiative and made sure that all children were to receive vaccinations.

Hassan pointed said they made a lot of efforts to remove the pre misconceptions community had that hindered the vaccination process.

“The community had wrong ideas about vaccines. We made a lot of efforts by the help from our health partners now they have changed their altitudes and they are participating in the vaccination process,” Hassan said.

Despite insecurity in the country Hassan said they have managed to cover the nine counties of Jubek State with vaccines. He added that they were able to vaccinate over 12,000 children in 2017 which he said was a great success.

Raida Poni one of the Mothers who brought her child to Al-Shabbah Children’s Hospital for Vaccination said the campaign was good because children be saved by the medicine.

She said some time they come to the Hospital but were told to buy medicine from outside the hospital because there of no medicines in the hospital.

She appealed to government to bring more medicines to the hospital because they do not feel good when they go to the hospital and don’t get hospitals.




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