Sudan’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday launched a polio vaccination campaign supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF targeting around three million children nationwide.
“The Sudanese government has undertaken the responsibility to keep Sudan free of polio to reach the global goal,” Sudanese Health Minister, Bahar Garada said in a joint statement with WHO and UNICEF.
The vaccination will cover 10 Sudanese states: Khartoum, Northern, Nahral-Neel, Red Sea, North Kordofan, West Darfur, South Darfur, North Darfur, East Darfur and Central Darfur.
Garada described the campaign as “very important,”.
He commended the efforts of all health workers, as well as the international community and health partners for supporting Sudan’s vaccination activities, in order to ensure the access of life-saving vaccines to children.
According to Naeema Al-Gasser, WHO representative in Sudan, she said the country had remained polio-free since 2009.
However, the danger remains because Sudan has received refugees from high-risk countries, Al-Gasser noted.
She said that vaccination is the responsibility of both individuals and countries, highlighting the vaccination of all target children.
Al-Gasser reaffirmed WHO’s commitment to meeting all campaign requirements including vaccines and vehicle fuel.
Meanwhile, Siddiq El-Tayeb, director of the immunisation directorate of Sudan’s health ministry, revealed that there would be another campaign in November covering 17 states.
UNICEF said in the statement that the vaccines used in the campaign amount to five million doses, along with five million doses of vitamin A.
It said the cost of the vaccines is four million dollars which was provided by the donor partners.
The WHO declared Sudan polio-free in 2015, where no polio infection case has been recorded since March 15, 2009.
However, Sudan remains a country exposed to polio as it shares borders with many countries where the disease spreads.