Sudan’s polio-free declaration

The Joint United Nations Mission directed that the Sudan be declared free of the mutated polio virus.

The Mission brings together experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) Head Office, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office and the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta-America.

On August 10, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health announced the country’s polio virus delegations after two cases from Southern Darfur state were registered from a neighbouring state.

After a rigorous assessment by MONUC of all response activities and the sensitivity of the country’s monitoring system during a two-week visit, during which a number of states were visited to verify data and implement comprehensively response interventions, the results of the assessment were successful in response efforts, which were the implementation of two vaccination campaigns in November 2020 and January 2021, targeting 9 million children under five years of age.

The last reported case was December 18, 2020.

The Mission also recommended that the health system be strengthened, particularly in the areas of investigation, screening, training and basic immunization programmes, focusing on conflict areas and those with difficult access to vaccination centres.

The Federal Minister of Health in charge of Dr. Haytham Mohamed Ibrahim said in a press statement after meeting with experts at his office in the Ministry in the presence of the directors of UNICEF and Global Health in the Sudan that the meeting ensured that the Government’s support for immunization programmes should continue through various mechanisms.

The meeting was aimed at analysing the Sudan’s health system with regard to the provision of vaccination services in general and the containment of polio in particular after the Sudan recorded 2020 infections, which the Ministry faced by carrying out campaigns against the virus and strengthening the health system.

The Minister stressed that the experts, through the report, pointed out that since the Sudan had not recorded new paralysis, they had again declared it free of the disease, as in the past.

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