46 000 children to be vaccinated against measles in Sitakunda Upazila

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 plan also include the revising of the vaccination plan for the area, conducting a full listing of 6 months to below 15 years old children from affected and surrounding areas and include them in the immunization program.

Prior to the campaign the field workers and supervisors were trained to uniformly conduct their activities. Meetings were also held with community members i.e. local leaders, teachers, religious leaders and community social mobilization activities have been conducted: miking from the mosques, door to door visits, banners displaying.

46 000 children aging 6 months to below 15 years old will be vaccinated against measles and rubella in 161 centres, out of which 89 are school centres and 72 are outreach points. 129 vaccinators are implementing the campaign. The program also covers all Tripura Para communities in the 3 unions, which accounts for 350 children. According to standard procedures in a measles outbreak, the extensive vaccination includes also children that have been previously immunized.

WHO remains committed in supporting the government to control and eradicate preventable diseases and also emphasizes the role of communities to fully aware the importance of vaccination as a mean of saving lives.