MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

MSF vaccinates 30,000 children against measles

Médecins Sans Frontières concluded a measles vaccination campaign in Sudan on May 26 that vaccinated more than 300,000 children.

MSF partnered with the Sudanese Ministry of Health during the campaign, which targeted five localities in the state of Al-Gedaref. The initiative began in response to three children less than 15 years of age losing their lives in March as a result of the measles. The MoH suspected 200 cases in the Al-Gedaref state alone.

"One laboratory-confirmed case is enough to call it an outbreak," Karina Rashidova, MSF head of mission in Sudan, said. "As measles is a highly contagious disease, immediate vaccination is necessary."

The campaign was run in East Galabat, West Galabat, Gala Alnahal, Basunda and Rahad. MSF support teams arrived within 24 hours, prepared with properly-stored vaccines, which must remain cold at all times.

Vaccination is the best preventative method against measles. The campaign targeted children, ranging from six months to 15-years-old. Children with developing immune systems are at the highest risk of infection.

"Mobile teams were sent out to mobilize local communities and carry out vaccinations, resulting in the vaccination of over 1,000 children daily," said Rashidova.

MSF has been in Sudan, responding to medical needs, since 1979.