Juba Meningitis

I was only back in Bentiu for a couple of weeks when out of the blue I was asked to get back on the plane to a job in the capital of south Sudan, the sleepy little town of Juba. I was told that I would act as a logistics person for the emergency vaccination campaign taking place in town. I arrived last of the team though though and so drew the short straw of being more of the administration person, trying to keep track of the 12 sites, 400 local staff and 7,000,000 diners in cash. Kind of like herding cats really.

It was extremely interesting to see a mass vaccination campaign in action with long lines of people, screaming children, and the piles of materials stockpiled in the days beforehand quickly diminish. Our target population was 150,000 but the turnout in the last days dropped off a lot and I think we ‘only’ did a bit over 100,000.

Also in Juba right now is a cholera outbreak which MSF Spain are looking after with a treatment centre just down the road from the MSF France office here. With 80 new admissions a day and the whole process of trying to stop the spread of the disease it was quite a logistic operation. Again it was great to see the real life version of what I have read about in the manuals. Back in Bentiu I have a small store of material for cholera and I now at least have some idea how it all gets used in practice.

The people here have been really fun and there has also been a mission in Akueum closing down with all those expats passing through town on their way home. So generally both the office and the emergency house where we sleep could be best described as mad to say the least, but things should calm down over the coming days. We had a great party last night to celebrate the end of the vaccination campaign and everyone is looking forward to catching up on sleep the minute the mountain of followup work is completed.

I fly back to Bentiu in a couple more day and look forward to the relative calm and quiet of my usual log admin job.


Happy Brithday mate! Keep the news coming


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