The Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) programme will begin in Chattogram on Sunday (17 September) for residents of wards 38 and 39 (Bandar Tila and South Halishahar) under Bandar thana of the Chattogram City Corporation.
The campaign will be 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, said a press release.
The two-dose Euvichol-Plus Cholera vaccine, produced by EuBiologics Co Ltd in South Korea, will be given to individuals over one year of age. Everyone is eligible, except for pregnant women and those who have received another vaccine in the past 14 days.
Cholera is a diarrhoeal disease and a food- and water-borne illness. Outbreaks have ranged from the Ganges delta to Europe and America. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation systems are key contributors to these outbreaks. The disease causes rapid dehydration and can lead to death if not treated promptly.
Every year, approximately 1.3 to 4 million people worldwide contract cholera, with over 100,000 infections occurring in eight developing countries, including Bangladesh. The prevalence of cholera in Bandar Thana of Chattogram is notably high.
To prevent this ancient but life-threatening disease, the OCV campaign will be carried out among 135,000 residents of Bandar Tila and South Halishahar areas through 45 centres. The first dose of the OCV will be given from Sunday (17 September) to Thursday (21 September), between 8am and 4pm. Details, including the locations of the vaccination centres, will be broadcast via miking 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.
Residents in the area are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine to safeguard both themselves and their families from the outbreak.
The CDC of the DGHS is implementing the National Cholera Control Plan 2019-2030, with support from icddr,b and other partners. Over 3.5 million Dhaka residents have already been vaccinated under this plan through the cholera vaccination programmes in 2020 and 2022.