UNICEF Launch Measles Campaign Targeting 13,000 Children Displaced By Violence In Wau

The United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) said it has launched today an urgent measles immunization campaign to protect 13,000 children displaced by fighting in the city of Wau.

JUBA, 02 July 2016 [Gurtong]-UNICEF said in a statement that the three-day campaign is focused on children aged six months to 14 years, who have been living in makeshift settlements in the city since the conflict erupted last Friday.
In such overcrowded sites, health risks for communities increase considerably.

The United Nation Agency said an estimated 30,000 people who fled violence have taken shelter in Wau’s temporary sites. At least 30,000 living outside of the city have also fled their homes.

“Measles spreads rapidly and one case can very quickly become an outbreak.  It’s crucial that children living in these crowded conditions are protected from what can be a life-threatening disease.” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan.

 In Wau town, UNICEF and partners are working in the displacement sites to reunite children who were separated from their families while running from the fighting. Children are being provided with primary health care and treatment for malnutrition.

The Agency further said that safe water supplies and latrines have also been installed to minimize the spread of disease, while child-friendly spaces have been created so that even in the midst of upheaval children are able to play and learn.

The statement further added that in addition to the support in Wau, teams from UNICEF and partner agencies on Friday reached the remote village of Mboro, to the south, which until recently had been inaccessible due to insecurity.

More than two thousand people were given access to health care and 500 children were screened for malnutrition. Those diagnosed as malnourished were provided with therapeutic food supplements.

Residents said they were living in the bush without shelter for fear of further violence. They said they were surviving on whatever food they could forage.
In their humanitarian concern, given the high insecurity in Wau, UNICEF is particularly concerned about the well-being of displaced women and girls in and around the temporary sites.

Conflict and population movements traditionally hit women and girls the hardest, as they become exposed to sexual violence and exploitation.

 “When conflict and violence hit communities and people are forced to flee, support networks become weaker and the first to feel the impact are the most vulnerable,” said Mdoe.

”UNICEF is working around the clock with partners on the ground to ensure that medical and support services are available and that safe spaces are created so that women and girls can speak freely and seek help if they need it.” Mdoe added.

UNICEF’s funding requirement for the Wau response is US$ 3 million of which just half is available.

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