News, Unity State

Measles kills 30 children in Unity State

By Yien Gattuor

Health authorities in Unity State have reported 31 measles-related deaths in five counties.

The state Ministry of Health disclosed that Rubkona County recorded 13 measles-related death cases, Guit County had one case, and Koch County had two death cases.

Meanwhile, Leer County recorded two death cases, Bentiu Hospital recorded seven cases, Bentiu IDP camp hospital recorded 16 death cases, and Mayendit County reported only one death case.

Unity State Health Authority established that 31 children reportedly died of the contagious disease; saying only two counties didn’t record any single death case.

The cases are for the months of June and July.

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

In June, the Unity State Ministry of Health declared a measles outbreak at Riotriah transit camp, where 26 cases were identified in the first phase.

The state health ministry and aid agencies have placed the increased number of measles infections at over 800 cases across seven counties in Unity State in the last two weeks.

The cases rose from 26 in June to 800 in the second week of July.

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

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

The Director General of the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Duol Biem, spoke to the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper over the weekend. He said the government and partners are planning to conduct mass vaccination campaigns again 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 confirmed laboratory tests. There are over 800 cases listed,” Biem explained.

The state health director said that Unity state health workers are working with aid agencies to control the spread of measles among children aged five months to 15 years.

“The vaccination we did last month was for Returnees only. And we think that this will support us in controlling the outbreak and its continuing threat,” he said.

The State Health Ministry Director General believes that after this intervention, cases will go down.

“To me, it’s very unfortunate to lose our daughters and our boys that are dying on a daily basis. It’s bad when it comes to the continued outbreak of measles disease,” he said.

“Yes, it is increasing on a daily basis, but with the intervention of the vaccination that is going to happen, we are hopeful it will be controlled very soon.”

Rubkona County Health Director, Ja Kuol Malow confirmed 300 cases of measles with 13 deaths.

He said 287 cases are under treatment at Rubkona County health facilities.

Local health officials said the recent measles vaccination carried out in some parts of the state is not enough for children who fled the conflict in Sudan.

“We are in need of measles vaccination to be carried out by the state Ministry of Health in Unity State to protect the lives of our children who are under threats of the outbreak across seven counties,” Kuol appealed.

Kuol said vaccination campaign would halt spread of measles and safeguard the vulnerable population.


Comments are closed.