26th February 2024
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MoH set for mass yellow fever vaccination drive in WES

Author: Baria Johnson | Published: Thursday, February 1, 2024

A syringe carrying a dose of yellow fever vaccine. (Courtesy)

Heath authorities in Western Equatoria are set to roll out a mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever disease this week following an outbreak that started there in December 2023.

Last month, the national Ministry of Health announced the arrival of over 400,000 doses of the vaccine supplied by the International Coordinating Group to respond to the disease outbreak in Western Equatoria State.

The International Coordinating Group (ICG), a consortium of several organizations that was established by the United Nations in 1997, agreed to release the batch of 410,596 doses this Friday.

According to the health ministry’s undersecretary, Dr. Ader Macer, the vaccine would be distributed and rolled out in Western Equatoria’s Yambio, Nzara, and Tambura counties.

Speaking to Eye Radio, Western Equatoria State Health Minister Dr. James Abdallah confirmed having received the vaccines on Wednesday.

“We received the vaccines today at 10am at Yambio airport. We received the first consignment. The balance remained in Juba, then they told us they will go back and bring it,” Abdallah said.

Minister Abdallah said the vaccines were supposed to arrive on Tuesday, and eventually arrived a day later.

However, he said vaccination cards were being processed while a team of vaccinators underwent training before the campaign begins.

Dr Abdallah said the vaccination campaign was scheduled to start on 1st February 2024.

Following the outbreak, the Ministry of Health established a surveillance center at Juba Airport and directed all travelers entering or leaving the country to ensure that they carry a proof of yellow fever vaccination, while those without ones are advised to vaccinate against the disease.

– Yellow fever –

According to Cleveland Clinic, yellow fever is a viral disease spread by the bite of specific kinds of mosquitoes.

These mosquitoes and yellow fever are found in areas of Africa and South America located in the tropics and subtropics. The mosquitoes are infected when they bite primates who have the virus.

The yellow fever virus can have a range of symptoms. Some people may have no symptoms. It can present with mild flu-like symptoms but can also be deadly in its most severe form.

You could have flu-like symptoms with aches, pains and fever or you could begin bleeding and develop liver disease. Symptoms take about three to six days to develop.

People who work or live in the jungles of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America are most affected by yellow fever.

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