This area, like many in the rest of the state, becomes inaccessible once the rainy season starts. This places greater importance on the Dry Season Campaign – and the small teams administering the vaccines. If a village is not reached, it could quite possibly result in the deaths of many children.
Vaccination is a critical part of advancing health in a developing setting like South Sudan. According to the WHO and UNICEF’s Immunization Summary (2007), more than 2.5 million deaths a year are prevented globally thanks to vaccination against just four diseases – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) and measles.
After an hour on the road, county health workers Nyanyok Thon and Nyonyjo Nyor arrive at the small village of Aree, just off the main road. Mothers bring their children from far away to gather in the shade of a large tree as the team prepares to begin administering vaccines.
The team goes to work quickly.
In some cases children received an injection in the leg; others received several drops on the tongue. In each case, Nyonyjo spoke to the mothers to gather information for their files and to better serve them in future campaigns.
In less than an hour, more than 30 children are treated and the team moves on to the next town.