More Than 10,000 Receive Cholera Vaccination In Juba

More than 10,000 people living in New site and Bongo areas of Juba were vaccinated against cholera in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

 More Than 10,000 Receive Cholera Vaccination In Juba
ne of the students receiving the Oral Cholera Vaccine [Gurtong photo/ Jale Richard]

By Jale Richard

JUBA, 27 November, 2017 [Gurtong]-The three-day vaccination campaign which started on Thursday last week targeted about 11,000 people. The vaccination campaign was conducted by Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). It targeted everyone older than 12 months in the new site and bongo area.

The vaccinations were provided at Jodonki Primary School, Chaplin Church, 10 States Oak Tree, New Site Main Market, New Bongo area, and Dr John Garang Primary school.About 6,000 people were vaccinated on the first day.

Dr. Makuir Mayaom Philip, of MSF said the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) will be provided for all age groups except children less than one year to protect the area which has had new cholera cases admitted in Juba Teaching Hospital at the beginning of the month.

He said the first week of November, about 15 suspected cases of cholera was reported in the New site area, attributing the new infections to poor sanitation and hygiene practices in the area.

Dr. Makuir said vaccination against cholera is the most reliable and concrete way to protect people of all ages from contracting cholera and avoid the spread of the disease.

The vaccination campaign in New site follows a mass cholera vaccination conducted in cholera hotspots in Juba by MSF two months ago.

Dr. Makur said after the mass cholera vaccination campaign, 30 new cholera cases have been reported in neighborhoods that were not covered by the former campaign.

“MSF vaccinated over 195,000 people in other Juba neighborhoods in September to October and no new cases have occurred in those areas since then,” he said.

He added that after taking two doses of the vaccines, a person will be protected against cholera for up to five years.

Makuir cautioned the community to be on high alert even in the dry season by drinking clean water, using pit latrines, washing hands with soap, and boiling water.

Jok Mayom Abraham the School Officer of Dr. John Garang Primary School where hundreds turned up for vaccinations said all the students including the adult literacy class have been vaccinated in the school.

He said they are encouraging everyone to take the dose of vaccines in order to protect themselves against cholera.

Emmanuel Ladu Lude, a Primary 8 student who heads the Hygiene Club at Dr. John Garang Bilpham Primary School said last year one of his friends died of cholera.

He said the vaccination will prevent cholera from spreading in New site area.

“It is very important because you don’t know. Disease comes like death,” he said.

He said since the school does not have a fence, some community members defecate around he school compound, which contributes to the spread of cholera in the area.

“One day I came and found somebody has urinated and defecated in the classroom.”

He said the communities do not practice many of the preventive measures of cholera, but the school hygiene club is creating awareness to the students so that when they go back home, they can help their parents maintain hygiene.

Dr. Makuir said MSF will keep monitoring the cholera and other diseases situations in Juba and is ready to quickly organize new targeted vaccination campaigns or medical responses, if new cases should occur.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. The virus is usually found in food or water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection.


 

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