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AWEIL - 16 Feb 2021

Polio vaccination campaign starts in N. Bahr el Ghazal state

[Photo: Edward Parsons/IRIN]
[Photo: Edward Parsons/IRIN]

A four-day polio vaccination campaign commenced in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State on Tuesday targeting more than 29,000 children aged between 0-5 years across the state, officials said.

An official at the Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State’s health ministry, John Agany Deng said around 800 vaccinators were deployed after the ministry received vaccines from Juba.

“The state has been preparing to launch the second round, especially for polio vaccination operations. We managed to employ 825 teams of vaccinators across the five counties of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State. We also received our vaccines, a total number of 18,259, to cover the targeted areas for immunization,’’ Agany said.

According to the health official, the government-led project, Health Pooled Fund (HPF) is expected to treat 29,452 children in the state.

 “We have a target of 29, 452 children, to be immunized. Already you know that the HPF is a government-led project and we have been engaging with all our partners. We called them to a meeting so each partner contributed human resources, people to participate with their vehicles in project locations within the five counties,’’ he added.

The state manager for the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), Santino Ngong Chan, said the vaccination campaigns started on Tuesday and will conclude on Friday. 

He urged the local communities to cooperate with volunteer vaccinators to ensure that their children are vaccinated within the framed period.  

“We have launched the campaign today across the five counties of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal, so the teams are busy in the field. The campaign is supported fully by the national ministry of health and it will last for four days from today up to 20 January. We will make sure that we have completed the campaign,’’ Ngong explained. 

A young mother, Atap Barjok, who traveled to Aweil from the village said such services should be extended to the rural areas. 

“I am very happy because I found it today and my child will be vaccinated. It was not there in the village, I have just got it here. It has not reached there. I am grateful to them for bringing the medicines so that the children are vaccinated,” Atap said.