Immunization in Lurcuk Village, Tonj North County, Southern Sudan

[Warrap Town, Southern Sudan 43°C] Eight of us climb into the Land Cruiser and leave the World Vision compound at around 11h00. We drive to the brick storage room, where refrigerators store vaccinations for the immunization program (funded by CIDA) that takes place in different villages every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Tonj North County. We load tables and chairs onto the roof of the vehicle; carefully place coolers of vaccines against meningitis, tetanus, measles into the back, and toss boxes of syringes, gauze and rubber gloves under the vehicles back benches. Five children congregate by the passenger door to get a closer look at the khawaja: me the white man in the front seat. Half of them are naked. All of them reluctant to shake this khawaja‘s hand, despite customary protocol.

We drive for one and a half hours, averaging 25 km/hour, along dirt roads that will become impassable during the rainy season, which is expected to begin toward the end of April and last until October. As we approach the village of Lurcuk, Community Health Workers place the megaphone speaker onto the roof of the vehicle and announce their arrival. We continue toward the big tree by the local clinic and its borehole to set up registration and immunization tables.

Registration starts immediately after a public education information session about immunization. Mothers and their children continue to arrive. The two Community Health Workers who give the needles into the arms and legs of the villagers, and dispense the polio drops into the mouths of children work at a frantic pace for four hours non-stop. I am amazed at their patience in dealing with screaming and crying children who resist their efforts.

In total, 276 children were immunized for various childhood diseases like measles, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and 167 women of childbearing years received tetanus vaccines.

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8 Responses

  1. widge says:

    Thanks for the comment, Mawien. I am interested in your story abut your young life in Lurcuk and the situation of your exile. Where are you now and how did you get there? Do you plan on returning? Please let us know.

  2. Mawien says:

    Indeed I am very much impressed to see my youngest brothers and sisters being vaccinated against childhood diseases. In fact Lurcuk village is where I was born, went to pre-school and as well as primary school before I went to exile (western world). Thank a lot for helping my people and may God bless you.

  3. Akol Dhol says:

    I am really very happy to see my people in town.That’s where I am from. I was hoping I was there with them. This is Akol Dhol I am from Tonj North.

    • widge says:

      Hello Akol Dhol,

      It was a pleasure visiting your village of Lurcuk when they received immunization. At first everyone was hesitant to allow me to photograph them but after a while they came to me to bes sure to be included in the photographs. So you are from Tonj North. If you do not live there now, where do you live?

  4. Akol Akol says:

    Nothing much that I could do than sending my warmely greeting to those who had did that blessing jobs. God will reward them thanks

  5. rory says:

    Great pics Dave – there is such a diversity in their faces! I look forward to hearing your stories in person!

  6. julie sharpe-snider says:

    as you look into their eyes your heart pauses…you fill with hope…for them…their village…their future..such depth in their little souls and you have unselfishly offered them a chance…a life line of sorts…the more we see… the more we know… the more we can help…thanks for sharing.

  7. Patricia says:

    wow, amazing pictures. I felt I was in the village with them and going to get a shot too. Hopefully, It will help them to go throught the next years…

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