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WHO to vaccinate about 140,000 IDPs against cholera

Author : | Published: Monday, February 24, 2014

The UN’s health agency says nearly 140,000 people living in camps in South Sudan are going to be vaccinated against cholera.

The vaccines come from an emergency stockpile by the World Health Organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Médecins Sans Frontières and Unicef.

“The rationale behind this oral cholera vaccination is that the IDPs are living in very congested camps with poor sanitation, hygiene, water quality, and there is a need to put in place preventive measures, how to control and to  prevent a cholera outbreak,”a medical officer with the W-H-O, Dr Abdinasir Abubakar, told Eye Radio.

Dr Abubakar said the vaccination campaign has started in Minkaman camp, Awerial County, and will then move on to camps in Juba.

He says people displaced by the conflict and living in the camps are at risk due to poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding.

“The intervention will consist of two doses; the first dose will be given now and the second is going to be after two weeks and the people will have a protection up to 60 to 70%.”

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and it affects children and adults. It can kill in a matter of hours due to rapid dehydration.

Access to clean water and adequate sanitation remain the mainstays of preventing both endemic cholera and cholera outbreaks.

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