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Sudan OCHA bulletin 36: Aid workers call for vaccinations in South Kordofan

September 10 - 2015 KHARTOUM

The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has a funding shortfall of US$9.9 million, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its bulletin this week. If it remains not addressed, this will force the World Food Programme (WFP) to close down the air service at the end of the month.

OCHA reports that the UNHAS passenger and cargo services are critical to facilitating humanitarian work in Sudan, in particuler in remote locations where, owing to lack of infrastructure, insecurity and lack of commercial alternatives.

Humanitarians continue to advocate for the vaccination of 165,000 children in areas that are controlled by the armed rebel movement in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The vaccination campaign is planned to take place in two phases: firstly interventions that are simple to administer with minimal training (polio, vitamin A and middle upper arm circumference screening) , and secondly administering more complex vaccines such as measles and other antigens.

Humanitarian organisations have recently reinvigorated advocacy efforts to conduct vaccination campaigns in these conflict areas, following years of stalled progress. To date, however, no agreement on the campaign has been reached between both parties leaving these children at risk. Sudan has been declared polio free since 2009, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Measles

As of 9 August, there have been 3,013 confirmed cases and 5,403 suspected cases of measles reported in Sudan since the outbreak began in December 2014, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH). The total number of deaths in 2015 has risen to 67 with the highest number of deaths (23) reported in North Darfur. 

White Nile state

In White Nile State, gaps remain in water and sanitation services for refugees despite the ongoing provision of humanitarian assistance, OCHA reports. Services are challenged by funding constraints, the inability of organisations to scale up operations to assist with the large influx of new refugees, and inaccessibility during the rainy season owing to poor road conditions. Seasonal rainfall remains 25-80% below average in most of the country despite improved rains in August, according to the Famine Early Warnings System Network (FEWS NET).

Shortage of super cereals

Because of difficulties in importing relief items into Sudan, WFP is facing a shortage of super cereals with additional stocks not expected before the end of October. Super cereals are provided to children with moderate acute malnutrition to prevent further deterioration of their condition to severe acute malnutrition. In East Darfur, the lack of sufficient quantities of super cereals has triggered precautionary measures by nutrition partners to prevent large increases in the number of severely malnourished children, including the reshuffling of staff and services. 

Read the full report here


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