South Sudan declares measles outbreak as cases rise

Photo: MSF/William Davies

Juba, December 12, 2022 (SSNA) — The government of South Sudan declared a widespread measles outbreak in the country, saying cases are on the rise and that appropriate health measures are needed.

“Based on the number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases across the country, the national ministry of health hereby declares a measles outbreak in South Sudan,” Director-General for Preventive Health Services in the Ministry of Health John Rumunu said at a news conference in the capital, Juba.

The official says measles outbreaks have been consistent since 2021 and blames it on what he described as interrupted immunization services and inadequate execution of supplementary immunization activities, adding, “The last national measles immunization campaign was conducted in 2020 with vaccination coverage of less than 85 percent which is below the 95 percent recommended target.”

He promises that the young nation is preparing to carry out a measles immunization campaign and manage complications arising from the disease.

At least 31 people have died and 2,471 cases have been reported in 22 counties, according to the Ministry of Health.

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