22 February 2011 – To prevent new polio outbreaks in Upper Nile State, several agencies joined together today in launching a three-day immunization campaign, targeting children from 0 to 5 years.
Present at the launch, organized by the Upper Nile State Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other organizations, were State Deputy Governor Andrea Maya and State Minister for Health Stephen Lor Nyak.
Mr. Maya praised the role played by the MoH and other organizations in providing health facilities to the needy and eradication of polio in the state.
"The children are the future of this nation," The minister said. "Without them there will be no nation at all. Mothers should be encouraged to bring their children to be vaccinated."
David Wanume, head of UNICEF in Malakal, emphasized the importance of polio vaccination.
"Bringing up of the children is the responsibility of all the parents," said Mr. Wanume. "We must address (diseases) which take away the lives of innocent children properly. (Polio) can be eradicated by just two drops of vaccine."
Minister Nyak noted that no polio cases had been reported in the state since 2008. He also thanked UNICEF for donating eight motorcycles and 11 speedboats to his ministry on 14 February for use in delivery of health services in different counties.
Following an outbreak of polio in 2008, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) MoH launched an aggressive polio eradication campaign in the region. In a previous interview, Anthony Laku of the GoSS MoH Immunization Programme said no new cases of polio had been reported in Southern Sudan as of July 2010.