Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 03 | 25 February – 24 March 2019
• Over 8 million people vaccinated against yellow fever in Blue Nile, Sennar and El Gezira states.
• CERF receives $26.4 million to respond to urgent life-saving humanitarian needs in Sudan.
• Water shortages in Hameedia IDP camp are due to insufficient supplies of diesel fuel needed to run the water pumping stations.
• Government-led crop assessment indicates that for the 2018 harvest, cereal production is about 8.2 million tons, 57 per cent up from 2017.
• New South Sudanese refugees arrive in East Darfur, West Kordofan, South Darfur, South Kordofan, and White Nile states.
Preventative yellow fever vaccination campaign
reaches over 8 million people, WHO The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) launched from 10-29 March a large-scale yellow fever vaccination campaign reaching over 8 million people between 9 months and 60 years in Blue Nile, Sennar and El Gezira states. The campaign had initially targeted over 8.3 million people in the three states.
The campaign was critical in Sudan’s ongoing work to protect all populations against yellow fever epidemics, in alignment with the global Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) Strategy. Sudan plans to complement the yellow fever mass campaigns—of which this was the third to final—and ensure long-term protection with the introduction of yellow fever vaccinations into routine immunizations in the coming months. “We acknowledge the commitment of the health authorities in Sudan to avail cash and fuel during this economic crisis to ensure that Sudanese people, especially children, are protected with a quality vaccine, which would contribute to health security and making the world safer,” said Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Sudan. “Yellow fever vaccine is the most important tool we have to prevent yellow fever outbreaks. The vaccine will be freely available to any eligible person and will provide life-long protection against the disease. While protecting yourself against mosquito bites is important to reduce the risk of many diseases, only vaccination can eliminate the risk of yellow fever outbreaks,” she added.
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted by female Aedes Aegypti mosquitos. Its infection can cause fatal illness, including jaundice and death, and can spread rapidly locally and internationally, especially in densely populated areas like cities. However, the disease can be prevented by a single dose of a highly effective and safe vaccine.
Sudan is at high risk of the spread of yellow fever disease due to a combination of climate and ecology, and because there are still areas where people have low immunity to the disease. Recent years have seen global changes in the epidemiology of yellow fever, with outbreaks occurring in areas that were not previously assessed as high risk. “We are observing a changing nature of yellow fever disease dynamics. It is very important that every eligible person in this campaign receives the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” said Professor Dr Babkir Kabaloo,
Undersecretary of the Federal Ministry of Health in Sudan. “The current campaign represents one of the final phases in the ministry’s efforts to protect the entire nation against yellow fever. This phase of the campaign covered Blue Nile, El Gezira, and Sennar states. In coming months, the remaining states of Khartoum, Northern and River Nile will also be covered, completing the heprotection of the entire Sudan population,” he added.
Sudan health authorities and partners are working to introduce yellow fever vaccine in the national immunization schedule in the near future. This will help ensure the protection of all population against this fatal but preventable disease.