News / Africa

Polio Vaccination Campaign Launched in Eastern Equatoria

  • In this May 28, 2013 photo, Somali vaccination workers give an anti-polio drop to a child, in Mogadishu. Somalia. Health officials in South Sudan have been on high alert for polio since the Somali outbreak.
  • An infographic on polio, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is helping to fund the global battle to eradicate polio.
Polio vaccination campaign launched in South Sudan state.
Health officials in South Sudan have launched an emergency campaign to vaccinate 700,000 children under the age of 15 in Eastern Equatoria state against polio by the end of the week after a child in the state was diagnosed with the crippling and potentially deadly disease last month.

The national Ministry of Health has also rolled out a polio vaccination campaign in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, where two more children were diagnosed with the disease in late September.

The small outbreak is significant because the region that became South Sudan in 2011 has been polio-free since 2009. The Ministry of Health runs four polio vaccination campaigns every year and says 94 percent of South Sudanese children under five have been vaccinated against the disease.

Medical authorities in South Sudan have been on high alert for cases of the disease after an outbreak in Somalia in May quickly spread to Kenya and Ethiopia.

Parents in Eastern Equatoria are being encouraged to bring their children to health centers or to wait for volunteer immunizers to come to their homes.

Akwir Joska brought her five-year-old son and one-year-old daughter to Torit Civil Hospital Tuesday to get them vaccinated against polio. She urged all mothers to do the same.

"I am very happy now. None of my children will get polio as they received the polio vaccine. I encourage all mothers to take their children to vaccination centers so that children get polio vaccine," she said.

A nationwide polio vaccination campaign in South Sudan is scheduled for November and December.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that attacks a person's nervous system and quickly causes paralysis. It can be spread through tainted water and other drinks, uncooked food, and by coming into contact with faeces contaminated with the virus.

A global effort to eradicate polio, which was launched in 1988, has been hugely successful, with vaccination campaigns helping to reduce the number of cases worldwide by more than 99 percent and saving more than 10 million children from paralysis.

Today, polio remains endemic in just three countries—Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—and fewer than 250 cases were reported in 2012, down from 650 cases in 2011.

Experts believe that polio can be wiped out by 2018, which would make it only the second disease to be eradicated after smallpox.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs