Date: Mon 30 Sep 2013
The Government of South Sudan is treating as an utmost priority an outbreak of polio in
"We consider this a national health emergency," the Honourable Dr Riek Gai, Minister of Health, said on Monday [30 Sep 2013] morning. We are mobilizing from the highest level of Government to every community in the country in order to stop this disease.
"We are also working closely with WHO, UNICEF, and other key partners around the world and here in
Two girls, aged 2 and 8, living in
Since the polio outbreak in Somalia was confirmed in May , quickly followed by its spread to Kenya and Ethiopia, medical authorities across South Sudan have been on high alert to look for any possible cases in this country. The Ministry of Health and its partners conducted additional polio vaccination campaigns in August  in the States considered most at risk from the outbreak in the affected countries on its borders. Those States were Upper Nile, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, and
Immediately following the confirmation of the 3 polio cases, the Government and partners responded with emergency vaccinations in the areas where the virus was detected. The emergency "mop-up" campaign, in Aweil South County in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, and Gogrial West county in Warrap State and Ikotos and Budi counties in Eastern Equatoria State will continue through 4 Oct . This "mop-up" campaign is designed to stop the spread of the virus quickly.
Additional campaigns will be held in every State in the country in October, November, and December . This will be an ongoing process to ensure children in
The Government of South Sudan is also continuing to coordinate with neighboring countries in polio eradication efforts.
"We are organizing intensive vaccination campaigns throughout the country to protect our children against this devastating disease. We are determined to stop the spread of polio," the Minister said, "And we need everyone in the country to help us. We appeal to all parents to make sure their children are vaccinated. Protect your children through routine immunization and by making sure they receive additional polio vaccinations. We are working together for the eradication of polio. As long as polio exists anywhere in the world, every unimmunized child is at risk.
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