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19th National Immunization Day (NID) completed

PM NIDIn an effort to sustain its polio-free status, Bangladesh completed two rounds of the 19th National Immunization Day (NID) across the country through administering two drops of the polio vaccine to more than 22 million children aged below five years. The first round was observed on 8 January while the 2nd round was on 12 February 2011. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina launched the 19th NID at her official residence in the city on 6 January 2011 by providing two drops of polio vaccine to the children. Among others, Health Minister of Bangladesh, Prof. Dr AFM Ruhal Haque, Adviser to Prime Minister Prof Dr. Syed Modasser Ali, Health Secretary Md Humayun Kabir, Acting WHO Representative to Bangladesh Dr Arun Bhadra Thapa and Director General of DGHS Professor Dr Khondhaker Md. Shefyetullah, attended the function.

WR NIDOn the day, field workers administered oral polio vaccine to all children aged 0-59 months and vitamin A capsule to the children aged 12-59 months at 140,000 sites located in health facilities and health centres, schools, as well as mobile sites (bus, boat and train stations) throughout the country. Field workers from both units of the Ministry of Health, of the Bangladesh Government,  the Health Wing (DGHS) and Family Planning unit (DGFP), with active support from six lakh volunteers, worked all day long,  at the community level , to make the programme successful. Moreover, a four-day house-to-house immunization by mobile teams carried out special follow-up visits in order to make sure that no child has been left out. The Government of Bangladesh (GOB) with support of UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta), mounted a model response to immunize all under-5 children across the country when the first case of polio was detected in March 2006. Prior to this case, the country had been polio-free for five years. Eighteen polio cases were thereafter detected in 12 districts across all divisions of Bangladesh with the last one reported on 22 November, 2006. Since 1995, Bangladesh started NIDs to eradicate Polio. This was in addition to its nation-wide normal immunization programme.

Since the detection of the poliovirus in March, 2006 there have been six rounds of polio NIDs in 2006 and four rounds in 2007 ; at each of these Rounds,  between 95% and 98% of under-five children in the country were reached. During the 17th NID in November 2008, the polio and vitamin A coverage was 97.6% and 96.4% respectively. Around 97% coverage was achieved in the 18th NID. This tremendous achievement of administering OPV and Vitamin A was the result of the combined efforts of the Ministry of Health, many development partners, WHO, and NGOs, coordinated by the Government of Bangladesh.