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South Sudan Requests Five Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

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South Sudan’s ministry of health says it has requested five million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as the country continues to witness an upsurge in coronavirus cases. The authorities are hoping to roll out the administration of the vaccine as soon as it arrives in the country – which they hope could be later this month.

South Sudan health ministry says it has already submitted an application to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), an international organization which is trying to improve access to immunization in poor countries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that South Sudan will witness an upsurge in cases of covid-19 during the second wave.

“for health workers we are requesting 27,000, for elderly population, 2,960,380, persons with underline factors like diabetics 220,120 doses, persons living with HIV/AIDS, 190,000, internally displaced people 405,000, school teachers 46,000, and economically active population – who are between 25 and 40 years, we have requested for them 2,281,147 doses,” Dr John Rumunu Pasquale, director-general for preventive health services in the national ministry of health told reporters in the capital, juba.

Meanwhile, “in Africa, there are 10 countries that contribute to 90% of positive cases of covid-19. Amongst them are three neighbouring countries to South Sudan: Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Dr Guracha Argata Guyo, who’s acting country representative in South Sudan, said, it is expected that we will see cases in South Sudan rising because of travel and trade between these neighbouring countries which are contributing the huge caseload and South Sudan.

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Baby Vaccination Drops In Rwanda Amid Lockdown

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Baby vaccination rate is of concern to Rwandan authorities.  The Rwanda biomedical center says it expects to vaccinate 360,000 babies every year with their first shot, but the number has dropped in Kigali during the total lockdown.

Some mothers in Kigali city say they cannot miss their babies’ vaccination schedules despite the city currently being in total lockdown.

At a vaccination exercise in Kigali on Monday, not all who were supposed to bring their babies for the vaccination showed up, thinking the medical personnel would not be available because of the lockdown.

The Rwanda biomedical center says the government spends $10 million annually to provide babies with no cost vaccinations.

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Tunisian Protesters Marching To Parliament Blocked

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Hundreds of Tunisians have taken to the streets in renewed protests.  The demonstrations first, in the town of Sbeitla were triggered by reports that an injured young man during last week’s clashes, Haykel Rachdi, had died. The man’s family said he was hit by a tear gas canister.

He had joined nationwide protests to mark the 10th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, which ushered in democracy and triggered the Arab spring uprisings across the region.

Soldiers were deployed to government buildings in the town after protesters tried to storm the police station.

On Tuesday, Tunisian police blocked the path of hundreds of protestors who were trying to reach the parliament building in the capital, Tunis.

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations that have been fueled by frustration at the lack of jobs and spiraling prices.

More than one thousand young protesters had been arrested during the previous protests, and many of the protesters on Tuesday were calling for their release.

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Morocco Begins Rolling Out COVID-19 Vaccinations

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After Egypt, Morocco is set to become the latest country in Africa to roll out a vaccination programme against COVID-19 giving priority to frontline medical staff.

The country has received two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and is expected to take delivery of half a million doses from China’s Sinopharm on Wednesday.

Morocco was hit hard last year when it recorded a higher number of cases compared to its neighbours

Tunisia has pushed back its vaccination campaign to April, while Algeria expects to acquire a batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vacc Oxford/AstraZeneca ine by the end of this month.

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