Health Minister Mohammed Nasim has said all the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who have taken shelter in Bangladesh will receive cholera vaccine.
“Everyone aged one year and above will get a dose of oral cholera vaccine. 6.5 lakh displaced Myanmar nationals will be eligible to get it under the vaccination programme the first round of which will be conducted from October 10-16,,” said the Minister at a press briefing at the secretariat on Monday.
The second round will be conducted from October 31-November 5, where children between the ages 1 and 5, approximately 2.5 lakh in number, will receive the vaccine, he said.
He said diarrhea has broken out among them, the possibility of getting affected by cholera cannot be ruled out, hence the vaccination programme is being conducted free of cost.
The campaign is being supported by UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, who have supplied over 1 lakh doses free of cost.
Nasim added that the supply has entered Bangladesh and ready for distribution.
During the press briefing, State Minister for Health Zahid Malek told reporters that approximately 5.5 displaced Rohingya nationals will be under the healthcare umbrella.
He said the two vaccination rounds will begin from 8am and will run till 4:30pm everyday, with every vaccine centre to consist of 5 core members – 2 vaccinators and 3 volunteers, and 2 additional Myanmar nationals for support.
A total of 150 teams will be dispatched in Ukhia who will provide 75,000 vaccines, while 60 teams will be present in Teknaf where they will provide 30,000 vaccines.
After the conclusion of the second round, plans will be made to conduct vaccination programme in Naikkhanchari and Bandarban where 20,000 displaced Myanmar nationals have been reportedly found.
A medical coordination team has been formed to supervise all the existing and subsequent healthcare campaigns, which will be led by the district civil surgeon, Dr Abdus Salam.
A recent state survey found that 21 Myanmar nationals were diagnosed with tuberculosis, 19 with HIV AIDS and 6 with malaria, he said.
Twenty eight healthcare centres have been established near the refugee camps so far, which reported that 29% of the displaced nationals are aged between 6 to 17, 38% are adults, 4% over the age of 60, 3% pregnant and 7% lactating mothers, reports UNB.
7 United Nations organisations, 14 international development agencies and 19 local NGOs are operating in Cox’s Bazar currently, the junior minister added.
The state minister also said that 43 floating medical teams are working around the camps to provide healthcare to the Myanmar nationals.
So far, official statistics show that 1,38,820 Myanmar nationals from 6 months to 15 years have been given 1 dose of rubella vaccine, with 76,444 receiving polio vaccines.
12,999 children between the ages 1-11 months and 2 lakh children aged 12-59 months were given Vitamin A capsules. Besides, 510 women have successfully delivered babies since August.
Till now, 1,24,818 Myanmar nationals have received healthcare advice, he said.