Update on the measles situation and control strategies in South Sudan

Introduction

Measles virus is highly infectious, with susceptible individuals having a 90 percent chance of getting infected if they are exposed. Very high measles vaccination coverage (90 to 95%) is needed to protect populations against measles outbreaks. The low routine measles vaccination coverage in South Sudan (54% as of December 2018) has meant that there is a big number of unvaccinated children which is ideal for outbreaks. The routine vaccination coverage remains low due to insecurity that keeps populations from immunization services due to reduced access to health services.

Measles trends in 2018 and 2019

In 2018, measles was the second most frequent alert and constituted 165 (21%) of total alerts. A total of nine (9) measles outbreaks were confirmed in Bentiu PoC, Yirol West, Rumbek Center, Wau PoCAA, Aweil Center, Cueibet, Aweil East, Rumbek East, and Bor PoC in 2018. Since the beginning of 2019, seven (7) measles outbreaks have been confirmed in Abyei, Juba, Pibor, Gogrial West, Mayom, Melut and Aweil South counties. Laboratory confirmed measles cases have also been reported in Aweil East, Aweil West, Renk, Malakal, Tonj North, Twic and Torit.

Source: Government of the Republic of South Sudan