Oral cholera vaccination campaign for 2.4 million residents in the city has been inaugurated on Sunday in order to protect people from the outbreaks of deadly diarrhoea disease.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the country’s largest-ever oral cholera vaccination campaign at icddr,b’s auditorium in Mohakhali of Dhaka.
The residents living in five areas of Dhaka will come under the campaign between the periods of June 26 to July 02 2022.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, “We had fantastic results in areas where cholera vaccine trials took place in the past. We are very happy to be able to start this life-saving work.”
He said that the government was a bit worried over the rise in Covid infection, adding that many officials at the ministry and DGHS have already been affected in the fresh wave.
Infections in the country were seen declining from mid-February to June 12, with on average 100 cases daily. The daily infection rate was also close to one per cent. On Sunday, the country reported 1,680 cases and two deaths with a 15 per cent infection rate.
Dr Md. Anwar Hossain Howlader, secretary, Health Services Division, Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, executive director at icddr,b were also present at the inauguration event.
In Bangladesh, generally there are two outbreaks of diarrhoea that take place during the months of April to May and August to September, while the city experiences a spike in infection from March to May this year.
More than half of these patients live in five years of Dhaka city such as Jatrabari, Dakshin Khan, Sabujbagh, Mohammadpur and Mirpur, according to the officials of the ministry and icddr,b.
During this time, the number of cholera patients rose to about 34 per cent among all patients, according to the icddr,b.
In light of this situation, the DGHS urgently called up the Inter sectoral Coordination Group (ICG) to provide vaccines for the 'reactive cholera vaccination programme’, and in response the ICG provided about 4.5 million doses of oral cholera vaccines.
Subsequently, icddr,b is undertaking the largest cholera vaccination campaign from June 26 to July 02, 2022 with support from the Dhaka North and South City Corporation and under the supervision of the DGHS.
The campaign is also supported by the National Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), World Health Organization, UNICEF, International Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, and MSF. It is being funded by The Vaccine Alliance, GAVI.
The two-dose Euvichol-Plus Cholera vaccine will be administered to those who are above one year of age. This vaccine is prequalified by the World Health Organization, and can be given to all except pregnant women and those who have received other vaccines within the last 14 days.