The South Sudanese Ministry of Health has declared a measles outbreak following confirmation of cases in the country.
According to the Director General for Preventive Health Services at the National Minister of Health, Dr. John Rumunu, there have been 2,471 confirmed measles cases and 31 deaths reported over the last 38 weeks.
In his words:
“Based on the number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases across the country, the National Ministry of Health hereby declares measles outbreak in South Sudan.”
Dr. Rumunu stated that South Sudan has witnessed repeated outbreaks of measles since 2021, primarily due to the interrupted routine immunization services and inadequate implementation of supplementary immunization activities.
“The last national measles immunization campaign was conducted in 2020 with vaccination coverage of less than 85 percent which is below the 95 percent recommended target. This has led to an increasing number of unvaccinated children exposing them to the risk of getting measles infection and potentially increasing the development of outbreaks,” he said.
Dr. Rumunu affirmed that the ministry will step up efforts to curb the spread of the disease through immunization and public health awareness.
“Public health measures include avoiding or minimising direct contact with children infected or suspected to be infected with measles, and reporting and immediately taking children suspected to have measles to the nearest health facility,” he explained.