Nearly 330,000 Rohingyas refugees and their Bangladesh host community are currently being vaccinated against cholera in a month-long campaign in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and nearby areas, amidst increased risk of flooding in the ongoing cyclone season.
Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and partners such as Gavi, the vaccine alliance, the campaign aims to reach people who missed some or all previous cholera vaccination opportunities.
“Despite the progress and efforts made by humanitarian agencies to improve water and sanitation conditions in Rohingya camps, cholera remains a concern. Oral cholera vaccination is the most effective way to protect such a large section and reduce the risk of disease outbreak,” says Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO representative in Bangladesh.
The massive immunisation effort includes over 100 mobile and fixed-site vaccination teams, with over 700 volunteers and vaccine providers, and is supported by 4,000 health workers and mobilisers
Nearly 2.2 million doses of oral cholera vaccines have been dispensed among Rohingya refugees and their host population through three vaccination campaigns since November 2017.
The WHO is currently monitoring serious cholera outbreaks in a number of countries including Nigeria, Cameroon, Yemen and Zimbabwe.