Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) programme began for residents of ward No 38 and 39 (Bandar Tila and South Halishahar) under Bandar Thana of the Chattogram City Corporation on Sunday.
Mayor of Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) Md. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury inaugurated the campaign in the city’s Theater Institute.
The two-dose Euvichol-Plus Cholera vaccine, produced by EuBiologics Co. Ltd. in South Korea, will be given to residents of ward nos. 38 and 39 (Bandar Tila and South Halishahar) under Bandar Thana who are over one year of age.
Everyone is eligible, except for pregnant women and those who have received another vaccine in the past 14 days.
Dr Firdausi Qadri said, “From Bangladesh’s National Cholera Control Plan 2019-2030, we know that there are 144 areas across the country with a high risk of cholera, many of which are in Chattogram. I am hopeful that through this vaccination programme, we will be able to reduce the risk in Wards 38 and 39 of Bandar Thana.”
Professor Dr Md. Nazmul Islam highlighted the various cholera control activities of the government. He remarked, “Today’s vaccination campaign is a historic milestone, marking the start of cholera control efforts in Chattogram. I am hopeful that we will initiate large-scale cholera vaccination campaigns in the coming days.”
“ Seeing the success of our implemented cholera vaccination programmes, the Vaccine Alliance, GAVI, will hopefully provide Bangladesh 100 million cholera vaccines free of charge over the next five years,”he added.
Mayor Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury highlighted the various activities of the City Corporation. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the CDC, DGHS, and icddr,b in beginning the cholera vaccination effort in Chattogram.
He expressed hope that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will support the City Corporation in its endeavour to continue the healthcare services offered to the residents of Chattogram.
The prevalence of cholera in Bandar Thana of Chattogram is notably high. In order to prevent this ancient but life-threatening disease, the OCV campaign is being carried out among 135,000 residents of Bandar Tila and South Halishahar areas through 45 centres.
The first dose of the OCV began from Sunday and will continue till Thursday (21 September) between 8 am and 4 pm. Details, including the locations of the vaccination centres, is being broadcasted via milking in the respective areas.
The second dose of the vaccine is planned to be scheduled in the second week of October, with details to be announced later. This vaccine should be administered at least 14 days apart and has been prequalified by the World Health Organization.
The initiative is supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Dr Mohammad Nazmul Islam, Director of Disease Control and Line Director of the Communicable Disease Control Program (CDC), Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS); Dr Firdausi Qadri, Acting Senior Director of the Infectious Diseases Division of icddr,b, and representatives from CDC, DGHS; development partners, and icddr,b were also present at the inauguration event.
The vaccination campaign is led by the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), with support from the World Health Organization, icddr,b, the Civil Surgeon Office of Chattogram, and the Chattogram City Corporation.