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Central Equatoria state wary of cross border polio infection

The Central Equatoria State Acting Director General in the Ministry of Health has warned of possible spread of polio across it’s border.

 “Though polio activities are being implemented, the state still remains at risk of cross border transmission, Central Equatoria is bordered by Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, these two borders have high movement and can be at risk of transmission of polio,” Justin Bruno Tongun said during the celebration of World Polio Day at Alsabah Children’s Hospital in Juba on Wednesday.

He revealed that the ministry of health has intensified outreach vaccination programs and campaigns, adding that there is active surveillance to detect suspected cases in the community.

Tongun said they are currently implementing polio activities to maintain the state’s polio free status.

He noted insecurity around Yei, Kajokeji, Lainya and Morobo counties are hindering access to vaccination of children against polio and other diseases.

Amuda Joseph, the representative of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) said the outbreak of vaccine-derived poliovirus in 2020 should act as a lesson not to back down on surveillance.

“The vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreak that happened in 2020 was a reminder that we must remain vigilante, we urge the ministry of health to strengthen vaccine and surveillance system across the country,” Joseph said.

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