EPI in South Sudan

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The extended program of immunization (EPI) seems clearly positive: it is good to vaccinate children, particularly magnavaccinationin countries with limited resources. However, there are questions of ability to maintain cold chain, cost vs. improvement of living conditions, and lack of accountability.

South Sudan is the world’s most fragile country. Vaccination is difficult. The government receives support from UNICEF  and GAVI. The National Expanded Programme on Immunization Multi-Year Plan was launched in 2012. However, parents often walk for days to reach a clinic, and may come once for vaccination, but mostly do not return for subsequent doses.

The country’s healthcare system is also fragmented amongst various funding agencies and NGOs.

Civil war broke out in 2013. Thousands fled to Protection of Civilian areas. An emergency measles campaign occurred but, due to a broken cold chain, or untrained workers, an epidemic occurred and many children died. No one was held accountable.

MAGNA Children at Risk (the NGO I worked for) launched an EPI program and the epidemic stopped. A subsequent emergency cholera vaccination program also occurred. However, some issues included:

Further Links:

Vaccine Development: Thinking Out of the Cold Box

The Long Walk Through Guit

Big Pharma, NGO Square the Circle on Access to Vaccines

 

 

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