The world's second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign has been launched in the refugee camps of Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar to protect the Rohingyas and host communities from infection, the WHO said today. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that under the world's second largest oral cholera vaccination campaign, 900,000 doses of the vaccines have been mobilised and were being delivered by over 200 mobile vaccination teams in Cox's Bazar. The initiative, led by Bangladesh's Ministry of Health and supported by the WHO and UNICEF, is being held in Ukhiya and Teknaf, where more than half a million people have arrived from Myanmar since August. "The first round of the campaign will cover 650,000 people aged one year and older. The second round will commence on October 31 and will target 250,000 children between one and five years with an additional dose of the vaccine for added protection," the WHO said in a statement. "Emergency vaccination saves lives.
The risk of cholera is clear and present, and the need for decisive action apparent," said N Paranietharan, the WHO Representative to Bangladesh. In the last week, at least 10,292 cases of diarrhoea have been reported and treated from across the settlements and camps. The WHO has warned of the potential for an outbreak of cholera. "This is the second largest oral vaccination campaign in the world after Haiti in 2016," said Edouard Beigbeder,the UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh. "Cholera is a dangerous disease, especially among children living in cramped, unhygienic conditions. Prevention is essential," he said.
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