South Sudan

South Sudan: Polio Outbreak DREF operation n° MDRSS002 Update n°1

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Period covered by this update: 25 October - 28 October, 2013

Summary: CHF 168,065 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 25 October, 2013, to support the National Society in delivering assistance to some 525,749 beneficiaries.

This operations update is informing on the change in context in South Sudan in terms of Polio outbreak and cases in the country.

South Sudan is situated in the “wild poliovirus importation belt” – a band of countries stretching from west Africa to Central Africa and the Horn of Africa, which are vulnerable to re-infection with imported poliovirus. An active outbreak of Polio is currently taking place in the region and South Sudan is at high risk of polio outbreak, given its borders with Kenya and Ethiopia and low rates of vaccination coverage. Three cases had been reported in South Sudan, but were retracted on 26 October 2013 due to laboratory error. Given the extremely high risk of polio outbreak, and the consequences it would have in the country, the DREF operation will continue as planned, providing support to the government to target the high risk areas along the borders with social mobilization for immunization.

National rounds of emergency polio immunization are planned in South Sudan in November and December 2013. The first round of immunization is planned by Ministry of Health to take place during the week beginning 4 November 2013. South Sudan Red Cross Society (SSRC), with support from IFRC’s DREF, aims to assist the first two national rounds of emergency Polio immunization in 24 counties in 3 states of West, Central and East Equatoria in South Sudan through social mobilization activities. These states are the focus on the current outbreak in South Sudan and are high risk areas that border Kenya and Ethiopia (where other WPV1 cases have been reported). This DREF funding will support immediate participation and action of SSRC in the forthcoming immunization rounds and provide a foundation for future leverage of funding from other partners (including WHO/UNICEF) and activities in support of the Ministry of Health plan for further rounds of vaccination.

This operation is to be implemented in three months, and completed by 31 January, 2014. In line with Federation reporting standards, the final report (narrative and financial) is due 90 days after the end of the operation (by 30 April 2014).

The major donors and partners to the DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, DG ECHO, the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.