Sudan receives second measles vaccine batch amid outbreak

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April 21 April 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s heath ministry received the second batch measles vaccine doses on Tuesday as heath workers prepare to launch a vaccination campaign in the country.

On Monday 6 April, two million measles vaccine doses arrived to Khartoum airport. It was the first batch of 9.6 million doses ordered by the Sudanese government with the support of UNICEF and World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out an immunisation campaign after an outbreak in several states.

Kassala and Port Sudan states in eastern Sudan and North and West Darfur states in the western part of the country are among the regions hit by the measles outbreak. Last January, over one million children were vaccinated in the Gadaref and Kassala states. But due to the lack of vaccine healthcare workers failed to control it.

Sudanese health minister Bahar Idriss Abu Garda together with representatives of UN agencies received Tuesday the second batch of five million doses at Khartoum International Airport.

Abu Garda praised the continued support of the donors to eradicate the measles. He further announced that his ministry completed arrangements to launch the vaccination campaign in all the affected areas on Thursday and vowed to vaccinate all the Sudanese children by the end of next June.

He further called on parents and families to cooperate with healthcare workers in the campaign, asserting the safety and effectiveness of measles vaccines.

For his part, UNICEF Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, called on the to not obstruct the access of vaccination teams to the children in the conflict areas in Darfur region and Sudan’s Two Areas.

While, WHO’s representative in Sudan, Naeema Al-Gasseer, commended the cooperation of the Sudanese heath ministry with the international organisations and reiterated the support of its agency to the ongoing efforts to eradicate measles in Sudan.