As a parent, the best way to ensure your child’s good health is to try to prevent illness before it starts. The best way to prevent a number of serious illnesses is to make sure your children receive appropriate immunisation. All parents should ensure the immunisation of their child in time.
In an effort to sustain its polio-free status, the country is going to observe the 2nd round of 17th National Immunisation Day (NID) today. Parents and guardians are earnestly requested to take their children under the age of 5 to the closest vaccination center. Those who are travelling are advised to take their children to a nearest location for vaccination.
Field workers from both Health and Family Planning Ministry along with volunteers will administer oral polio vaccines (OPVs) to 22 million children aged 0-59 months. Along with polio, antihelminthic tablets will also be given to children aged 2-5 years.
Vitamin A capsule will not be given this time as it has already been given at 1st round on November 29, 2008 to nearly 21 million children aged 12-59 months across the country. Vitamin A is given to children to bolster their immune system against diseases such as measles, diarrhoea and night blindness.
Besides, a four-day house-to-house search will follow in order to make sure that no child is left out.
The government of Bangladesh with the support from Unicef and WHO has mounted a model response to immunise all under-5 children across the country when the first case of polio was detected once again in March 2006 after a lapse of five years.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or even death within hour. The polio virus enters the body through the mouth, or in water or food that has been contaminated with faecal material from an infected person. The disease mainly affects younger children, but in rare instances, can affect older children as well.
Eighteen polio cases were thereafter detected in 12 districts across all divisions of Bangladesh, with the last one reported on 22 November 2006, according to Unicef.
Since the 2006 detection, there have been six polio NIDs in 2006 and four in 2007. In each case 95-98.2 percent of under-five children were immunised.
Bangladesh is again a polio-free country since 2006, but the threat of recurrence of the virus still exists. We need to sustain our achievements made during the previous NIDs, along with the routine EPI (Expanded Programme on Immunisation) coverage, particularly in hard-to-reach areas.
Source: The Daily Star, January 03, 2008