• Port Sudan

  • Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 5:57 AM
    Last Update : Saturday, January 20, 2024 at 5:57 AM

Sudan Announces Campaign to Vaccinate More Than 5 Million Children Against Rubella

(AWP) - On Wednesday, The Sudanese Ministry of Health announced the launch of a new campaign to vaccinate 5.4 million children against measles and rubella, across seven states.

Supported by the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), in participation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the campaign will mobilize the rubella vaccination alongside other periodical childhood disease vaccinations in Sudan.

“In the first phase of the campaign, our target goal is to reach 5.4 million children between the ages of nine months and five years, across seven states. In the second phase of the campaign, we will complete the national introduction of the measles and rubella vaccine across all 18 states of the country,” said Anne Cronin, GAVI Alliance Director, in a press conference.

We believe that this campaign is an opportunity to contribute to building a bridge to peace in Sudan. Childhood diseases such as measles and rubella pose obstacles to the full realization of a child's potential. It is known that the rubella virus is the most common cause of birth defects,” she added.

With the participation of more than five thousand medical personnel, the campaign will begin in both fixed and mobile centres to reach people in the states of Red Sea, Kassala, River Nile, Blue Nile, Northern State, White Nile and Sennar.

“The campaign will be conducted by 5,437 health cadres and volunteers who were trained during the last period, and administrative arrangements were made for them,” said Haitham Mohammed Ibrahim, acting Federal Minister of Health.

“This campaign enjoys great supervision and support at the various levels of federal and state governments, and even at the level of administrative units and team leaders. All field, practical and scientific arrangements have been completed so that this campaign can be a major success,” he added.

Speakers at the press conference warned of the grave consequences of the spread of rubella amidst the damaged Sudanese health facilities, given the displacement of more than three million children during the past months due to the war.

Many Sudanese children suffer from permanent deformities as a result of the disease.
“Unfortunately, due to the conflict in Sudan, some states are affected more than others, such as Darfur, Kordofan and Khartoum. The war has affected services in humanitarian service centres, as well as our strategies for communication and action. Despite all these issues, the Federal Minister of Health, in cooperation with partners such as UNICEF, is doing his best to restore humanitarian services for children,” said Meshel Tawfeek, WHO Officer in Sudan.

“We are doing everything we can to maintain the essential functions of the human services programme, and to find an opportunity to transport the vaccine while preserving human resources at the local and state levels. This is crucial for continued surveillance and to find infected people who need the vaccine for preventable disease. These are ongoing tasks,” he added.

International and UN organisations seek ways to introduce a new vaccine against malaria during the current year to limit the spread of the disease, which kills thousands of people annually in the eastern and southern states of Sudan.

They also aim to offer vaccines against the cholera epidemic, after the number of people infected with the disease reached about ten thousand in Sudan, which is suffering from the repercussions of the 9-month, ongoing war between the Army and the Rapid Support Forces.