JUBA, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Sunday declared an outbreak of measles following a constant rise in the number of confirmed cases over the last 38 epidemiological weeks.
John Rumunu, director general for Preventive Health Services in the Ministry of Health, said 31 deaths and 2,471 measles cases have been reported in 22 counties across the country.
"Based on the number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases across the country, the national ministry of health hereby declares a measles outbreak in South Sudan," Rumunu told journalists in South Sudan's capital Juba.
He said South Sudan has witnessed repeated outbreaks of measles since 2021 primarily due to the interrupted routine immunization services and inadequate implementation of supplementary immunization activities.
"The last national measles immunization campaign was conducted in 2020 with vaccination coverage of less than 85 percent which is below the 95 percent recommended target," he said.
Rumunu said they will conduct an immediate epidemiological investigation to determine the extent of disease transmission, strengthen routine immunization services across the country, conduct measles immunization campaigns, and manage complications arising from the disease. ■