About 18 million children under five years of age will be given Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in the next three months following the first polio case reported in the country after more than five years, reports UNB.
Rahima Akhtar, a 9-year-old girl in Chandpur district, was paralysed on January 23. Later, on March 8, laboratory tests in the Indian State of Mumbai confirmed that Rahima has been attacked with the wild poliovirus, an UNICEF official in the city said.
WHO South-East Asia Regional office expert Arun Thapa said the virus found here has similarity with that of Uttar Pradesh in India.
Bangladesh has been polio-free since August 2000 following extensive vaccination against the disease, said Kirsty Mcivor, Chief Communication Officer of UNICEF.
She said all Bangladeshi children under five would be brought under the vaccination campaign from next month by the Bangladesh government with the help of WHO and UNICEF.
After the report of the first polio case, an immediate investigation was conducted in the surrounding area and the government is currently devising its response plan with support from partners, including the WHO.
UNICEF communication officer Shamsuddin Ahmed said the OPV would be given to the children on April 16, May 13 and June 11. The government will provide the fund, UNICEF will procure the polio vaccine and launch the campaign, while WHO will provide technical and management assistance.
Some 50,000 vaccinators and 750,000 volunteers will be engaged in the implementation of the OPV campaign.
On Thursday a delegation of international polio experts and development partners met with Health and Family Welfare Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and discussed the recent report of poliovirus in the country.
The delegation praised the prompt steps taken by the Bangladesh government since reappearance of the poliovirus and promised to cooperate in observing National Immunisation Day again.