COMILLA, Mar 3 (BDNEWS): The largest ever measles vaccination campaign, which began February 25 across the country, is gaining success in different districts especially in Comilla district.
Of the 16 upazilas of Comilla, the target number of children to be immunised is 1.36 million and they are expected to be brought under the programme through 28 permanent and 4,328 temporary centres in the district.
About 1,597 health workers and 13,300 volunteers are working in Comilla with the aim to make the total operation a success.
WHO, UNICEF, American Red Cross, United Nations Fund, CDC and the Government of Japan are supporting the Government of Bangladesh in this Measles Catch Up Campaign that started on 25th February to run until 16th March.
This campaign is also the largest public health mobilisation effort in the history of Bangladesh in which 750,000 volunteers will participate covering 62 districts and five city corporations in 100,000 schools and 150,000 other EPI-fixed sites.
Project coordinator of UNICEF Nayna Begum said, the success rate of immunisation programme in Comilla was 98 per cent in 2005 adding that the ongoing campaign will be cent per cent successful.
The organisers hope to vaccinate 33.5 million children aged between nine months and under 10 years during the 20-day period.
The programme has been taken to facilitate the governments' six-year (2004-2010) national action plan (2004-1010) to check child mortality due to measles.
It is mentionable here that measles is the fifth leading cause of death among children under five years of age in Bangladesh.
Measles could be deadly to children and infants, especially when it is contracted during times of crisis.
Routine immunisation protects 69 per cent of Bangladeshi children from measles, but 30 percent still remained unprotected from one of the most contagious diseases that kills 20,000 children every year in the country. Under this campaign, child mortality due to measles is expected to be halved.