Botched anti-measles campaign kills 15 children in South Sudan

Minnesota measles outbreak bigger than all cases in 2016… for entire US

Minnesota measles outbreak bigger than all cases in 2016… for entire US

Fifteen children died in South Sudan after receiving contaminated measles vaccines that had not been properly refrigerated, and were mixed using the same syringe for four days.

According to the statement, an investigation supported by World Health Organization and UNICEF found that the children died as a result of severe toxicity resulting from the administration of a contaminated vaccine.

Despite this tragedy, the nationwide effort to vaccinate two million children will continue.

The deaths occurred in the rural and remote Nachodokopele village, Kauto County in South Sudan, and prompted an immediate investigation by the National Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) Committee, supported by World Health Organization and UNICEF. The cause of death was determined to be "severe sepsis/toxicity" resulting from contaminated vaccine used at the measles campaign event.

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Investigators found that all the 15 children who died were under the age of 5-years-old. The tainted vaccines made dozens more children very ill with fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

The Health Ministry has commissioned a committee to review the incident and recommend possible compensation for the victims' families.

About 300 people were vaccinated against Measles in Nachodokopele Village during the campaign.

The risk of measles and other Vaccine Preventable Diseases in South Sudan remains extremely high because of the challenges being faced by the health system.

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The ministry said an investigation into the deaths of the children in remote Nackodopele village in the newly created Kapotea state revealed that it was caused by human error.

The team administering the vaccinations was "neither qualified nor trained" to do so, the health minister said.

According to United Nations data from 2016, South Sudan had at least 2,294 measles cases and 28 deaths attributed to the vaccine.

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