Milestones :: Perspectives
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 17 November 2018
Nearly 330,000 Rohingyas refugees and Bangladesh host community will be vaccinated against cholera in a month-long campaign beginning today in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and its nearby areas, to protect vulnerable population against the deadly disease amidst increased risk of flooding in the ongoing cyclone season.
Led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with support of the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and partners such as Gavi, the vaccine alliance, the campaign aims to reach people who missed some or all previous cholera vaccination opportunities.
“Despite the progress and efforts made by humanitarian agencies to improve water and sanitation conditions in Rohingya camps, cholera remain a concern. Oral cholera vaccination is the most effective way to protect such a large section and reduce the risk of disease outbreak,” says Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO Representative in Bangladesh.
Nearly 2.2 million doses of oral cholera vaccines have been dispensed among Rohingya refugees and their host population through three massive vaccination campaigns since November 2017…
Abuja, 22 November 2018 – The Government of Nigeria – with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF aims to vaccinate 26.2 million people during the second phase of its biggest-ever yellow fever campaign as it seeks to establish high population immunity nationwide.
This step of the campaign, which is funded by Gavi will run from 22 November to 1 December 2018 and will target children and adults in Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Borno states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
“The vaccination will be for people within 9 months to 44 years cohort, parents are advised to avail themselves and their children to partake in the vaccination; The vaccine is free, safe and effective,” said Dr Joseph Oteri, Director of Special Duties at Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Yellow fever is caused by a virus spread through the bite of infected mosquitos. Some patients can develop serious symptoms, including high fever and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), but the disease can be easily prevented by a vaccine that provides immunity for life.
“Immunizing more than 26 million people is a massive undertaking,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “But this achievement will represent a huge step towards protecting people from the potentially deadly viral haemorrhagic disease not only in Nigeria but in the African region.”
To ensure this phase of the vaccination campaign runs smoothly, the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO with support from Gavi, has trained and deployed Management Support Teams (MST). The MSTs are overseeing preparations in the run-up to the campaign and, in partnership with WHO yellow fever experts, will act as supervisors and provide technical assistance during the campaign itself.
“Nigeria is on the front line in the global battle against yellow fever,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Routine immunisation coverage remains dangerously low, as shown by the latest outbreak, which is why this campaign is so important to protect the vulnerable. While this campaign will save lives, we need to focus our efforts on the best long-term solution – improving routine immunisation coverage so every child is protected, preventing outbreaks from happening in the first place.”…