Most global estimates indicate that more than 1 million children a year die from acute measles. The actual number of deaths may, however, be considerably higher than this. In addition, the impact of delayed mortality as a result of measles infection is only now being realized. Many months after they contract measles, children continue to experience higher levels of mortality and morbidity than those who do not. Immunization of children against measles therefore prevents mortality and morbidity not only during the acute phase but also during subsequent months. The impact of measles immunization programmes may therefore have generally been underestimated. The effects of measles infection on children during the early months of life are more damaging than those experienced by older children. Children should therefore be immunized against measles as early in life as possible, given the limitations of existing vaccines. As per DHIS, measles coverage amongst children below one year achieved in the first 10 months of 2018 is 56%. This is slightly lower of what was reported in previous years (going back to 2015, when CUAMM started working in Rumbek East) In a context as South Sudan, where several households live far from the nearest Health Facilities and are used to nomadic habits, it is common for children to access EPI services later than the regular immunization schedule, which stipulates getting vaccinated against measles after the first birthday. However, even merging U1 and U2 vaccinated children, the coverage of U5 population remains extremely low, not surpassing 30%. Keywords: Expanded programme on Immunization, Vaccinated, Children Under five, measles coverage, Rumbek East, Western Lake state.
Dr. Nebiyu Lera Alaro obtained his PhD in public health from Central University of Nicaragua (in academic partnership with Texila American University). He is an International Public Health Specialist with more than twelve years of experience in humanitarian affairs associated with Maternal, New born and Child Health (MNCH), Research, Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Health System Strengthening, Quality Assurance and Capacity Building, with teaching/mentoring experience for public health students, staff and volunteers. He worked for Health Support Organaization – THESO as Country Program Director , South Sudan, where he was responsible for providing leadership and overall guidance in project planning, implementation and monitoring/evaluation including direct technical support; (training and mentoring) to staff, towards achieving effective participatory and sustainable implementation, of primary and secondary health care system at all levels. He presently works as an associate faculty staff of Texila American University in charge of graduate students’ research supervision. Dr. Nebiyu has been involved in many public health field works and operational researches. He has research publications on various medical and public health issues to his credit. He is known for commitment to excellence that is evident through all aspects of his work. He is innovative, demonstrates respect for others, passionate about his work and has a strong sense of accountability. His contributions have helped dramatically improve the reproductive health, child health, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), surveillance, prevention and treatment of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), health promotion, nutrition therapy program (as funded by USAID, HPF, WFP, UNICEF, Japan Plat fourm and Italian Cooperation funds) including evaluation system in South Sudan. The improvements reported in the external quality scores under his leadership have been simply dramatic. Importantly, Nebiyu is dedicated to mentoring students, interns, staff and volunteers.