Assessment of vaccine wastage in South Sudan

Pan Afr Med J. 2021 Oct 22:40:114. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2021.40.114.28373. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: vaccine utilization monitoring provides valuable information for practical forecasting and formulation of strategies to reduce avoidable wastage. This monitoring is weak at county and health facility levels in South Sudan. Lack of national wastage rates could result in inaccurate forecasting, leading to vaccine shortages or overstocking and expiration of vaccines at the subnational and service delivery points. As the country gears to introduce relatively expensive vaccines such as rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines, a robust vaccine utilization monitoring system must be rolled out. This study provides the best possible estimates of vaccine wastage rates and the possible causes of the wastage.

Methods: we conducted the study in 45 conveniently sampled health facilities across 9 of the ten states in South Sudan. Vaccine consumption data was prospectively collected to estimate vaccine wastage and the reason for the wastage of each vaccine type.

Results: wastage of lyophilized vaccines, measles, and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) ranged between 39.0-66.7% and 52.1-74.3%, respectively, mainly due to doses that were discarded 6 hours after the opening of the vial or at the end of the immunization session. Wastage of liquid vaccines Oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV), Penta, Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), and Tetanus- diphtheria (Td) ranged between 24.4-49%, 15.5-43.4%, 25.3-57.9%, and 3.8-57.2%, respectively, mainly due to unusable VVM, expiry, unused doses at the end of outreach sessions, and vials without labels.

Conclusion: wasted rates for all vaccines were higher than the indicative WHO wastage rates used in South Sudan to forecast national vaccine needs. Unopened vial wastage was high and needs immediate attention.

Keywords: South Sudan; Vaccine wastage; supply chain; vaccination.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral
  • South Sudan / epidemiology
  • Vaccination*


  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral