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900 measles cases in Sudan in 2016, vaccination campaign starts next week

May 8 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Confirmed measles cases in Sudan this year according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health (Map: OCHA)
Confirmed measles cases in Sudan this year according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health (Map: OCHA)

Between 1 January and 29 April 2016, out of 2,546 suspected cases with fever and rash, 907 were confirmed as measles (465 confirmed by laboratory and 442 epidemiologically linked to lab confirmed cases), according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health (MoH).

According to the latest humanitarian bulletin by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), compared to the similar period of 2015, the numbers are considerably lower. During the same period of 2015, there were 4,131 suspected cases, of which 2,435 were confirmed as measles, according to WHOs’ Weekly Measles Surveillance report.

According to the MoH, most of the measles cases are in the states that did not implement the measles vaccination campaign last year, especially the Kordofan region, which accounts for about 75 per cent of the confirmed cases. There are 365 confirmed measles cases reported from West Kordofan, 268 cases from North Kordofan and 46 cases in South Kordofan.

According to the MoH measles surveillance unit, during the last week of April 11 deaths suspected to be from measles were reported in Babanusa locality, West Kordofan State amongst new South Sudanese arrivals. An investigation team was sent to the area and found out that deaths were not related to measles. While the community initially was refusing measles vaccination, the emergency health team and officials managed to vaccinate all the children aged between 6 months and 15 year in the area. The team also carried out other immediate response interventions: administering case management, ensuring availability of essential medicine, strengthening the surveillance and alert system and health education sessions.

Measles vaccination campaign will start on 7 May

The response started last year following an outbreak of measles in various parts of the country and covered 13 states. The second phase of the response, including a mass immunisation campaign, is scheduled to take place in May 2016. The West Kordofan part of the campaign will be implemented during 7-16 May in addition to scaling up of all other outbreak response capacity. In the remaining states of Sennar, White Nile, Blue Nile, North and South Kordofan the campaign will be held on 20-29 May with funding from the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) to cover all children under the age of 15.

(Source: OCHA)

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