News, Unity State

Measles kills Seven children in Unity State

By Yien Gattuor

Unity State Ministry of Health has reported seven measles-related deaths in two counties of Rubkona and Mayendit.

Rubkona County Health Authority confirmed death of six children, saying one other case occurred in Mayendit, on Friday.

An increasing measles cases has been reported among returnees and refugees who fled to South Sudan from Sudan conflict and live in dire humanitarian conditions.

Last week, Unity State Ministry of Health declared measles outbreak at Riotriak transit camp where 26 cases were identified in the first phase.

The state health office and aid agencies have placed measles cases at an increase to over 100, across seven counties in Unity State.

In the last two weeks, the state health ministry and aid agencies have embarked on vaccination of more than 9,000 children at Riotriak transit camp.

Meanwhile, Koch, Guit, Rubkona, Leer, Mayendit, and Mayom counties have all recorded cases of the disease, reportedly, due to the influx of returnees from Sudan.

Director General of the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Duol Biem said the government and partners are conducting mass vaccination campaigns to control the spread of the disease.

“We use a case definition; whoever fits into the definition is listed as a case. The numbers I am giving are line-listed; they are not confirmed laboratory tests. There are over 100 cases listed,” Biem explained.

Rubkona County health director, Mr. Kuol said state health workers are working with aid agencies to vaccinate children against the disease.

“We are doing vaccination among the returnees only. And this will support us in controlling the outbreak,” he said.

The county health director believes that after this intervention, cases will go down.

“To me, that is not very bad when it comes to controlling the outbreak. Yes, it is increasing, but with the intervention of the vaccination that is happening, we are hopeful it will be controlled very soon,” he said.

Kuol described the measles vaccination campaign as a mop-up exercise targeting children aged between six months and 16 years.

“The aim is that this campaign will halt the transmission of measles and safeguard the vulnerable population,” he noted.

In addition to the measles vaccine, Kuol said they also provide polio oral vaccines to adults who are returning to South Sudan from Sudan because of the crisis.

The county health official added that children who fled the conflict in Sudan will also be vaccinated against other diseases, including Polio and COVID.


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