3 August 2017 - In response to the measles outbreak in Sitakunda Upazila, Chittagong District, the Government of Bangladesh supported by World Health Organization (WHO), launched a one week extensive vaccination campaign on 29 July, 2017. The campaign covers Sonaichhari, Kumera and Sitakunda Unions, including 6 Tripura Para remote communities. Following the death of 9 measles infected children in remote Tripura Para communities in the first half of July, the authorities, supported by WHO, launched a response plan that initiated a monitoring mechanism of the affected communities. This allowed early detection and hospital treatment for more than 130 children infected by the same disease.
The latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on the global tobacco epidemic finds that, since 2007, 79 more countries have implemented tobacco control policies, ranging from graphic health warnings and advertising bans to no smoking areas. The report highlights Bangladesh for its efforts to warn people about the dangers of tobacco by introducing pictorial health warnings on packs of tobacco products and undertaking anti-tobacco mass media campaigns. Starting in September 2017, pictorial health warnings are to be printed on the upper half of tobacco packs – a further bold step towards tobacco control in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is also commended in the report for raising taxes on tobacco products, which is the most cost-effective tobacco control measure of all.
Effective communication, community engagement or best communication channels, are just a few of the concepts introduced to Bangladesh health professionals by Shamila Sharma, communication officer for WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO). On July 19 and 20, communication trainings were conducted for health professionals from Dhaka and across the country, through a workshop and a video training session hosted by the Directorate General of Health Services. The trainings aimed to provide health specialists the proper skills to timely and effectively communicate on health issues, to convey the messages to media or the general public in a manner that best serves the public interest and communities’ needs of information.
In the light of the recently increased number of Chikungunya cases, WHO Bangladesh emphasizes the role of prevention in fighting the vector of this virus, responsible also for spreading of Dengue and Zika viruses. In a 2016 study conducted by WHO Bangladesh in collaboration with the Disease Control Directorate of the Ministry of Health, it was found that although there is some awareness about the menace of Aedes mosquito, action is lacking on the part of people to control mosquito breeding. There is also a lack of knowledge about where Aedes mosquito can breed or its biting habits.