Sudan

Measles immunization campaign under way in Darfur

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© UNICEF/HQ04-0290/Nesbitt
12-year-old Awadia Alnoor is vaccinated in Nyala, South Darfur
DARFUR, 10 June 2004—The campaign to immunize more than two million of Darfur’s children has so far reached across all nine provinces of South Darfur.  Large numbers of children came forward for vaccination in the capital, Nyala, where more than 100,000 were given shots in the first three days of the campaign, reaching over 90% of the target population there.  The second phase of the campaign is covering West and North Darfur. 

Immunization teams are supplying Vitamin A supplements with the vaccinations.  Over 100,000 children near the Chad border are also being immunized against polio.  The month-long campaign is being led by the Sudanese Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF, working alongside several national and international organizations.

UNICEF’s Executive Director Carol Bellamy will be travelling to Darfur this weekend to see first hand conditions for families and children in the ongoing crisis.

As the rainy season gets under way in the region, heavy rains have left some roads impassable. Aid agencies are extremely concerned about the vulnerability of the vast displaced populations in Darfur, and across the border in Chad.  Many villagers have been unable to plant crops for this year.  At least 30,000 children are moderately malnourished, and 5,500 are suffering from severe malnutrition.

UNICEF is appealing for US$ 46 million to assist the more than one million displaced people in Darfur, as well as more than 180,000 refugees in Chad. Most have lost their homes, crops and livestock. The extremely harsh conditions in the region have left many of them reliant on international relief assistance for their survival and well-being.

In addition to the immunization campaign, UNICEF has been working to increase water supplies in Darfur by drilling bore-holes and repairing water-pumps.  With the organization’s assistance, many children are attending classes in temporary schoolrooms.

Although there is an urgent need for more funds, UNICEF has been able to support its emergency intervention in Chad by airlifting a plane-load of essential non-food supplies including school-in-a-box kits, impregnated mosquito nets and family water kits. In the coming weeks, the priority will be to expand water and sanitation facilities for the whole of the affected population, as well as educational opportunities for children.


 

 

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10 June 2004: Latest video on measles immunization campaign in Darfur.

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4 June 2004: Latest video from Sudan and Chad

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17 May, 2004: Video on the crisis in Sudan and Chad

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