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Bentiu - 18 Nov 2022

Unity State confirms measles outbreak

A child receiving measles vaccine. [Photo: UNICEFSouthSudan/Ryeng]
A child receiving measles vaccine. [Photo: UNICEFSouthSudan/Ryeng]

Health authorities in South Sudan's Unity state have confirmed 51 cases of measles following an outbreak in Rubkona county.

Unity state health minister Stephen Tot Jokchieng Nyuon told Radio Tamazuj Friday that the cases were reported in October and November. 

"We have confirmed 51 cases of the measles outbreak, the samples were taken to Juba and the results were found positive. Among the 51 confirmed cases, most of them were children and there are no death cases, but some are in severe conditions," he said.

Minister Nyuon said they are worried that the infectious disease would spread in the nearby congested internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp and among those displaced by floods in Bentiu town, Guit, Bieh, and Thoan IDPs camp.

He disclosed that they are planning to evacuate children with severe measles to a health facility in Bentiu IDPs camp run by the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Nyuon added that they are working with the World Health Organization and other humanitarian partners to conduct a measles public awareness campaign next week to disseminate measles prevention messages to the community, especially in Rubkona town, Bentiu town, and Bentiu IDPs camp.

On February 23, a measles outbreak was declared in South Sudan in three counties of Torit, Maban, and Tambura in the Eastern Equatoria, Upper Nile and Western Equatoria states respectively.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease which affects mostly children. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability among young children. There is no specific treatment for measles but there is a vaccine to stay protected from the disease, which is both safe as well as cost effective.