SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Chad readies launch of yellow fever vaccination campaign

Chad's Ministry of Health intends to launch an emergency mass-vaccination campaign after the World Health Organization reported two laboratory-confirmed cases of yellow fever in the country.

The confirmed cases are from two separate districts, Goz Beida and Guereda. They were identified by Chad's national disease surveillance program for yellow fever, which was launched following an outbreak of the illness in Sudan's neighboring Darfur region. The intensive surveillance reported finding 139 suspected cases and nine possible deaths as a result of infection.

The WHO was able to confirm the presence of the yellow fever virus after sending the samples to Institut Pasteur's regional reference laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, in December.

The world health body said that the vaccination campaign will be conducted in the three districts that border Darfur, Goz Beida, Guereda and Adré. Plans for the campaign, which begins in late February, include vaccinating more than one million people, including those living in refugee camps.

The ambitious campaign is supported by the Chad's Ministry of Health, the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision and the GAVI Alliance.

The YF-ICG is a partnership consisting of representatives from the United Nations Children's Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the WHO, which also serves as the secretariat.