A child receives an oral polio vaccine during an earlier campaign in Darfur (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran UNAMID)


Reports of children falling ill after receiving vaccines in paid health centres in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, prompted the state Health Ministry to form a fact-finding committee on Wednesday, according to the Ministry’s Director of Emergencies.

In a meeting yesterday, the South Darfur Ministry of Health sat with a delegation of national and international humanitarian organisations active in the state “to discuss several key issues, including vaccinating children through private centres inside Nyala”, according to the Ministry’s Director of Emergencies Hafez Nur.

According to Nur, the meeting established a fact-finding committee tasked with investigating the vaccine operations carried out by private centres in Nyala, “after several residents complained that their children displayed negative side-effects following vaccination”. The committee will reportedly review the centres, check the validity of their vaccines, and require them to detail the vaccine supplier.  

The emergency director told Radio Dabanga that South Darfur had not received any share of children’s vaccines[1] since the outbreak of the war between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last April, adding that “there are heartless people who have vaccinated children with damaged vaccines and charged them SDG 10,000 per dose”.

Medical sources in Nyala, speaking to Radio Dabanga on the condition of anonymity, said “there are high risks associated with the polio vaccines in Nyala, after the immunisation refrigerators were plundered and destroyed in the early days of the war”.

The source explained that “some residents stole vaccines such as polio vaccines, which need to be kept at special temperatures, thus making any subsequent use of them dangerous as they may cause paralysis in children”.

Back in September, doctors in Nyala sounded the alarm[2] that several health facilities, including a number of hospitals, were out of service, leaving residents without adequate medical attention. Radio Dabanga quoted paediatric specialist Ahmed El Tijani at the time, saying that “vaccines to immunise children have been entirely absent since the beginning of the war”.


  1. ^ any share of children’s vaccines (www.dabangasudan.org)
  2. ^ sounded the alarm (www.dabangasudan.org)

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