Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

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66.4m people at risk of cholera in Bangladesh

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Health Desk- 19 Feb, 2020: The health directorate will provide oral vaccinations for cholera in six areas of the capital from February 19 for seven days in a bid to prevent cholera.

Prof. Dr. Shahnila Ferdous, director of the disease control unit of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), made the announcement at a press conference at DGHS office in the city on Tuesday.

“The oral vaccination programme will be implemented in six areas of Dhaka city in the first phase. The programme will be conducted in Mohammadpur, Adabar, Darussalam, Kamrangirchar, Hazaribagh and Lalbagh areas. We have selected the areas in consideration of the risk of cholera. In phases, we will conduct the vaccination programme in other parts of the capital and across the country,” she said.

As per the announcement, the vaccination programme will be implemented in 16 wards of the Dhaka north and south city corporations from February 19 till February 25.

Oral vaccination will be provided from 360 immunization centres from 8:00 am till 4:00 pm every day during the programme. Some immunization centres will remain open till 7:00 pm for working people.

As part of the primary step, 24 lakh oral vaccines for cholera have been collected through Global Taskforce on Cholera Control (GTFCC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the support of UNICEF. The icddr,b will conduct the vaccination programme with the support of Dhaka South and North City Corporations and Extended Programme on Immunisation PI) of Bangladesh.    

“The Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign will be implemented for the people aged 1 year and above. And two dozes of the OCV will be fed with one-month interval. The cholera vaccine named as Euvichol-Plus manufactured by Eubiologics of South Korea is approved by the WHO and safe,” Prof. Dr. Shahnila Ferdousi said.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio Cholerae.

According to a report of the icddr,b, 20 per cent diarrhoea patients are infected in cholera in Bangladesh.

An international call for ending the spread of endemic cholera is now being led by a global initiative with a plan to make at least 20 countries free of cholera by the year 2030. Bangladesh is one of these countries.