KHARTOUM/GENEVA/NEW YORK -- In a unique follow-up to a June campaign that reached more than 2 million children in Darfur with vaccination against measles, a campaign was launched to reach another 150, 000 children from nine months to 15 years in remote areas of North Darfur controlled by the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM).
For children suffering from chronic or acute malnutrition, measles can result in a high number of deaths. The first phase of the campaign will run from now until September 13, to build confidence among the different factions for continuation of the initiative.
Delicate negotiations between the UN and the SLM in July and August concluded with an agreement that polio and measles vaccines would be provided to children in SLM-controlled areas.
Following the massive month-long campaign in June, death and illness rates among children due to measles have declined significantly. This additional campaign should immunize enough children to further reduce the likelihood of an outbreak for the coming three to four years. The campaign has been organized by the Ministry of Health, SLM, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
We want to bring down the mortality rate for all children, not only those we have easy access to. Children pay the price for war when insecurity cuts them off from access to the most basic health services, said UNICEF representative in
Representative of the WHO in
Sabatinelli noted that this campaign may signal the opening of more areas in the vast
The campaign has been provided with contributions from
Measles campaigns usually take up to a year to organize because of the huge logistics involved. The vulnerability of children in Darfur called for urgent measures. The June and September campaigns in
Source: World Health Organization