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Cablegate: Sudan - Unicef Vaccinates One Millionth Child

VZCZCXRO4607
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1447/01 1710910
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200910Z JUN 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3306
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001447

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
USMISSION UN ROME
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV TBIO PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: Sudan - UNICEF Vaccinates One Millionth Child
Against Measles in Southern Sudan


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Summary
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1. On June 16, 2006, USAID Office of U.S. Foreign
Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Disaster Operations
Specialist Jennifer Mayer spoke at a U.N. Children's Fund
(UNICEF) event in Bentiu, Unity State, celebrating the
measles vaccination of the one millionth child in
Southern Sudan. The Mass Measles Campaign has enormously
improved immunization coverage in Southern Sudan by
involving the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, the U.N. World
Health Organization (WHO), and dozens of local and
international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
USAID/OFDA has contributed more than USD 1 million to
UNICEF's Mass Measles Campaign since 2004. End summary.

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Mass Measles Campaign Reaches Milestone
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2. On June 16, 2006, USAID/OFDA Disaster Operations
Specialist Jennifer Mayer attended and presented remarks
on behalf of USAID at a UNICEF event held in Bentiu,
Unity State, to celebrate the measles vaccination of the
one millionth child in Southern Sudan. The day included
presentations by USAID, the Unity State Ministry of
Health, representatives of the Southern Sudan Relief and
Rehabilitation Commission, the Director of UNICEF
Southern Sudan, the Director of WHO Southern Sudan,
representatives from the office of the Governor of Unity
State, and the Ministry of Health for Southern Sudan.

3. Remarks made during the event stressed the need for
continued support to the health sector in Southern Sudan
and pointed to wider access to health services for all
communities as an essential element to sustaining peace
in the south. Access to health services is one of the
most tangible and important dividends of the peace
agreement in Southern Sudan and will be necessary for the
return and resettlement of populations displaced by the
war.

4. Both spontaneous and state-sponsored returns have
continued in Unity State in the first half of 2006, with
more than 5,500 returnees reported to have arrived in
April alone. Returnees are concentrated primarily in and
around the towns of Bentiu/Rubkona, Paryang, Abiemnom,
Guit, and Leer, making the provision of basic services
critical. In general, returnees are reintegrating
peacefully, although problems have been reported over
availability of water and lack of relief items such as
plastic sheeting for shelter. (Note: Local building
materials are scarce since the start of the rainy season
in May. End note.) USAID/OFDA is funding seven NGO
partners in Unity State in FY 2006, providing relief
commodities to returnee households; food security,
agriculture and fisheries activities; clean water;
support to veterinary programs; and primary health care.
USAID/OFDA partner PACT is working with UNICEF and others
to install 70 new boreholes in Unity State in 2006.

5. USAID/OFDA has contributed USD 1,050,000 to UNICEF's
Mass Measles Campaign throughout Southern Sudan since
2004. Currently, outbreaks of measles in the south occur
most commonly in children ages 10 to 15 years. Measles
immunization coverage in the country is estimated at only
18 percent. The Mass Measles Campaign for Southern Sudan
has put forth an enormous effort to improve this
coverage, involving the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO,
and dozens of local and international NGO partners. Lack
of trained health workers and infrastructure in Southern
Sudan, including transportation, vaccine storage
capacity, and health facilities, have presented a
significant challenge in attaining the one millionth
child milestone. Additional complications stem from
difficulties in reaching underserved, rural populations
and managing access to shifting populations as returns
continue throughout the south.

6. USAID, through humanitarian and bilateral funding has

KHARTOUM 00001447 002 OF 002


provided major support to health care in Southern Sudan.
USAID/OFDA has provided more than USD 23 million per year
over the past two years to NGO and UN partners to support
primary health care activities, including health
facilities, health care workers, training, essential
drugs and medical supplies. In mid-2004, USAID was the
first donor to begin developmental health activities in
Southern Sudan with the Sudan Health Transformation
Project. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has been active in disease
surveillance and is strengthening the capacity of the
nascent Ministry of Health with epidemiological training.
The U.S. Government remains a committed partner with the
Ministry of Health to improve health care in all of
Southern Sudan.

HUME

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