UNICEF drivers join the fight against cholera in Sudan

When lives are on the line everyone pitches in

Kebir Hassen
UNICEF driver in car next to vaccinated children
UNICEF/Kebir Hassen

18 November 2019

Early last month, Moiz Fisal Mohamad Ali, a driver at UNICEF Sudan, was deployed to support the Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) Campaign in Sennar state. In September 2019 the Federal Ministry of Health in Sudan announced a cholera outbreak in Blue Nile state.The UNICEF response, along with partners, aimed to achieve the highest coverage possible and to reach the most vulnerable communities. On the day Moiz joined, the campaign was specifically targeting South Sudanese refugees and internally displaced persons.

After dropping off his UNICEF colleagues at the vaccination sites, Moiz hesistated to just to sit and wait for his colleagues to finish their work. Instead Moiz tried to help in any way he could because he had first-hand knowledge of the importance of cholera vaccination. 

“I know what is meant to be infected by cholera. Cholera is a deadly disease. I can’t see people unknowingly missing this opportunity of being protected from this deadly disease. This is also why I joined UNICEF as it tries to address the real needs of my people,” said Moiz Fisal when he was asked what motivated him to do what he did.

Man vaccinates a man
UNICEF Sudan/Kebir Hassen
Moiz vaccinates a man who had earlier refused.

I know what is meant to be infected by cholera. Cholera is a deadly disease. I can’t see people unknowingly missing this opportunity of being protected from this deadly disease. This is also why I joined UNICEF as it tries to address the real needs of my people.

Moiz Fisal Mohamad Ali

Moiz interviewed most of the people vaccinated to check if there is any one remaining at home who had not been vaccinated. He actively searched for refusals, and whenever he found one, he made sure that he persuaded them to receive the vaccine. In one case, he found a man who refused to be vaccinated by female vaccinators. Moiz, not wanting this man to be at risk, vaccinated the man himself. By the end of the day Moiz had successfully persuaded 10 other people, who had intially refused, to take the vaccine. 

Seeing his example and the effect Moiz's good deeds were having, other fellow drivers started doing the same. The OCV campaign has so far covered 99.5% of the target population thanks to the dedication of UNICEF staff like Moiz and his colleagues.