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Brussels, 3 December 2013
Commissioner Georgieva condemns killing of two health workers in Darfur, stressing importance of vaccinations
I strongly condemn the killing of two volunteers working for the Sudanese Ministry of Health on a vaccination campaign in West Darfur last week. The two men were part of a team vaccinating children against measles in West Darfur. My thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues.
Vaccinations are crucial for public health in Sudan as elsewhere, and especially for children who are the primary beneficiaries. It is not just measles. The international community has been advocating for some time now for a polio vaccination campaign in Sudan, which would also benefit the 165,000 children living in the conflict-affected regions of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Efforts to vaccinate these children have failed so far. I strongly urge the government of Sudan as well as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) to make the polio vaccination campaign happen. This is a serious health risk in the two areas, and in the entire sub-region, with children paying the highest price if vaccination cannot go ahead.
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