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South Sudan targets 95% immunization for childred-Health Ministry

By Simon Deng                                              

The national ministry of health in South Sudan on Tuesday said it plans to expand immunization coverage by up to 95 percent for children across the country.

Atem Nathan Riak, Director General for Primary Health Care said that the current vaccine immunization coverage stands at 82 percent, adding they hope to increase it after graduating 38 fresh health officers to oversee the expanded program on immunization.                                                                           

“We want to increase the coverage of immunization of children up to 95 percent, currently 82 percent of the children in South Sudan have received their immunization. I believe 95 percent will be immunized and even the remaining 5 percent will be protected through herd immunity,” said Riak during the graduation ceremony in Palm Africa Hotel in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Riak disclosed that the vaccine coverage in 2019 was 45 percent.

Adding that the vaccine immunization coverage has improved lately, due to capacity building training for the health workforce.                                                                                                                      

 “The ministry of health is working with partners to improve immunization at the county and local levels, there are six childhood vaccines including BCG for Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Whooping Cough and polio, we want to introduce two more vaccine, including Hepatitis vaccine,” he revealed.           

Simon Antari, Executive Director for African Field Epidemiological Network said the on-job training is critical for immunization service delivery.

He noted that immunization is important in combating infectious diseases.  

 “Immunization has been a great success, robust immunization in combating infectious diseases and reducing mortality rate, vaccines have been a game changer in the fight against infectious diseases,” said Antari.

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