August 15, 2013 -- South Sudan is doing its bit for global polio eradication efforts, but huge gaps in immunization against other diseases remain.
Targeted polio immunization efforts started in the area more than a decade before the country’s independence in 2011 and have remained a top priority. There has not been a single case of polio for more than four years.
Health officials and humanitarian groups are trying to build on this success to improve other immunization efforts, including neonatal tetanus and measles, but more funding and a better health infrastructure are urgently needed.
To combat the re-emergence of polio, Anthony Kirbak, the director of the country’s expanded programme on immunization (EMI), said the Ministry of Health and humanitarian organizations have had to figure out how to circumvent low routine childhood immunization rates.
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