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MSF Supports Ministry of Health in Conducting Measles Vaccination Campaign in East Darfur

Staff Writer

Khartoum – April 2022 — Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is supporting a vaccination campaign launched by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in East Darfur state to stem a measles outbreak and increase the protection of children’s lives through immunisation. The initiative targets about 30 000 children between six months and 15-year-old.

Since early 2022 hundreds of suspected cases of measles have been reported across East Darfur state. The MSF received its first suspected measles patient in Kario camp primary health care center in the beginning of January. By the end of March, PHCC received many patients who were exhibiting the symptoms of measles and managing the cases accordingly.

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness and a leading cause of death for children across Africa. Symptoms include rash, runny nose, eye infections, fever, and coughs. Malnourished children are more likely to get severe measles, particularly if they do not have sufficient vitamin A in their diets.

“This vaccination campaign is targeting both the South Sudanese refugees in Kario camp and the host communities in the nearby El Ferdous and Bahr El Arab localities,” underlines Topher Mongeon, the project coordinator of the MSF in East Darfur. “While the campaign is an initiative of the Ministry of health, the MSF is covering the costs for medical staff and transportation means, as well as ensuring the cold chain.”

Through this vaccination campaign, the health authorities and the MSF are also aiming to strengthen the surveillance system at health facility and community level. This should allow for better management and treatment of all detected cases as per measles treatment protocol, increase the awareness about measles prevention among the communities and reactivate the community’s role in health awareness raising.

The MSF runs a primary health care center (PHCC) in Kario refugee camp that provides outpatient consultations, inpatient pediatrics, and therapeutic feeding center (ITFC) for severe malnutrition, as well as reproductive health services. The PHCC serves both host population of the surrounding villages as well as the South Sudanese refugees living in the camp. The MSF has been present in Kario, East Darfur State since 2017.

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