Health minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the country’s largest oral cholera vaccination campaign at the icddr,b in the city’s Mohakhali area on Sunday.

In Bangladesh, generally, there are two seasons of diarrhoea outbreak – in April-May and August-September.

The number of diarrhoeal patients in Dhaka during March-May this year was several times higher than in the past. More than half of those patients were from areas such as Jatrabari, Dakshin Khan, Sabujbagh, Mohammadpur and Mirpur.

During this time, the number of cholera patients rose to about 34 per cent among all patients.

In this context, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) urged the Intersectoral Coordination Group (ICG) to provide vaccines for the “reactive cholera vaccination programme.”

In response, the ICG provided about 4.5 million doses of oral cholera vaccines.

The icddr,b is undertaking the cholera vaccination campaign with support from Dhaka north and south city corporations and under the supervision of the DGHS.

The two-dose Euvichol-Plus Cholera vaccine produced by EuBiologics Co, South Korea, which is given at least 14 days apart, will be administered to those who are above one year of age.

This vaccine is prequalified by the World Health Organisation and can be given to all except pregnant women and those who have received other vaccines within the last 14 days.

A target has been set to vaccinate about 500,000 residents of Jatrabari, 420,000 in Sabujbagh, 280,000 in Dakshin Khan, 780,000 in Mirpur and 400,000 in Mohammadpur.