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South Sudan receives first batch of malaria vaccines

South Sudan receives first batch of malaria vaccines. Image Source: IANS News

Juba, June 1 : The South Sudan government has received the first consignment of 645,000 doses of malaria vaccine, which will be introduced into the country’s routine immunisation programme.

Health Minister Yolanda Awel Deng said on Friday that the R21 malaria vaccines will be distributed to 28 counties, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Malaria is a major concern for our country. We are committed to reducing the impact of malaria and improving the health outcomes for our children,” Deng told journalists in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

Obia Achieng, deputy representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Sudan, said the country faces one of the highest malaria burdens in the region, with an estimated 7,630 cases and 18 deaths daily.

He said that in 2022, South Sudan recorded a staggering 76 per cent surge in reported malaria cases, highlighting the urgent need for effective intervention.

“The availability of this new malaria vaccine, after nearly 60 years of development, represents a monumental breakthrough for science, malaria control and child health,” Achieng added.

Janet Michael, director general of primary health care in the Ministry of Health, said that almost a quarter of all disease diagnoses in health facilities are malaria-related in the country, adding that this has contributed to the high infant and maternal mortality rate in the country.

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