On 24 March 2020, nurse Lillian Nimaya, 45, fills a syringe with a vaccine at Nyakuron Primary Health Care Centre in Juba, South Sudan. Lillian has been working as a nurse for the last five years and conducrs routine immunizations each workday. She says, “We inform the mothers already when they are pregnant that they should vaccinate their children, and we repeat the same message after they have given birth … To ensure the parents are following up, we often ask for the vaccination card when they come to the clinic with their kids for other reasons.” Lillian likes her job, as it allows for her to help people, especially children. “You often hear me saying sorry to the children when I’m giving the jab, that is because I know it hurts. But I also know that this will protect them from dangerous diseases.” Keeping vaccines cold is the hardest part of the job. Lillian says, “We have a fridge here at the clinic, but when we are doing outreach, we have to fill the cool box before we venture out. But as soon as the vaccines are finished or the cooling elements are finished, we have to return to the clinic for more ice or more vaccines. It is a hassle … Another challenge is that this clinic is too crowded, we need more space.”

Due to years of conflict, access constraints, lack of information and misconceptions, South Sudan routine vaccination coverage remains low, at only 44 per cent. UNICEF South Sudan is supporting routine immunization across the country by providing training for vaccinators, procurement and distribution of vaccines and medical supplies such as syringes, as well as the procurement, installation and maintenance of cold chain equipment. UNICEF is also conducting information campaigns to educate caregivers on the importance of vaccinating their children and mobilizing communities leading up to vaccination campaigns.  In 2019, 919,160 children aged 6 months to 15 years were vaccinated against measles and 266,699 of children aged under one r

UNICEF to stockpile over half a billion syringes by year end, as part of efforts to prepare for eventual COVID-19 vaccinations

© UNICEF/UNI314690/Ryeng Initial preparatory work – in partnership with Gavi and WHO – will include purchasing boxes for the safe disposal of syringes and mapping out cold chain equipment to ensure delivery of effective vaccines. HONG KONG/NEW YORK, 19 October 2020– As the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, UNICEF has begun laying the groundwork for […]