By Simon Deng
South Sudan’s health ministry says it plans to vaccinate people in flood affected areas against cholera beginning this week.
“At the movement we are working with our partners to effect oral cholera vaccination in all flood affected areas, we have identified 20 counties as at risk and we have activated cholera vaccination technical working groups and they are working to ensure that vaccination is effected in these 20 counties.” Said Dr. John Rumunu who is also the COVID-19 incident Manager.
Dr. Rumunu said, oral cholera vaccines along with improved access to safe water and sanitation and other interventions including reinforced messages on safe drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation are effective for cholera prevention
The cholera vaccine provides immediate protection to the vulnerable populations in the aftermath of flooding and before sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions are implemented
“We are starting with Rubkona and the IDP area in Bentiu hopefully mid this month and from there we are moving to other counties, we have identified implementing partner for Malakal, we have implementing partner for Duk and also an implementing partner for Twic East county ,” Said Dr. Rumunu.
Rumunu revealed that the World Health Organization is supporting the ministry of health with integrated disease surveillance and response, adding that the ministry is getting weekly report from all functional health facilities for all diseases which are listed and put under surveillance.
“South Sudan has a multi or all-hazard approach for surveillance and also for response, we do not neglect other diseases as well, we have funding from the global fund for malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS,” he said.
The floods affected several areas in the country causing congestion in displacement sites, contamination of water sources and poor hygiene conditions both in the internally displaced people sites and the towns.