Dhaka, May 14 (bdnews24.com)—The government has fallen into the trap of oral cholera vaccine on which the ICDDR,B is conducting a feasibility study in the capital’s Mirpur area, health rights activists say.
They told a press conference on Saturday that there were no government records of cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh at least in the last decade.
But, the health minister put forward a proposal on cholera control saying ‘cholera is widespread in Bangladesh’.
Minister AFM Ruhal Haque presented a proposal to the WHO board meeting in May 2010 that mentioned ‘Bangladesh sees cholera peaks twice a year – before and after monsoon.’
Leaders of Health Rights Movement National Committee at National Press Club said such comment can have ‘serious impact’ on the country’s economy, particularly on shrimp as well as frozen food export.
“But the health ministry might not be aware of that,” said Dr Lenin Chowdhury, member of the committee, and added the ministry was ‘misguided by ICDDR,B.’
“ICDDR,B has been pushing Bangladesh to speak about cholera in global meetings since they started the vaccine test in November 2009,” he said in a written statement.
The statement added they were concerned about the government’s move that, they believe, could ‘divert the attention from improving water and sanitation system in the country.’
[Note from SaneVax: The SaneVax Team believes Dr. Chowdhury is absolutely right. The local population would gain many more health benefits from developing potable water systems and sanitary waste disposal facilities than they would from cholera vaccines. Health care funds are precious. Government officials should take the utmost care to ensure they provide the most benefit possible from every single health care investment they make.]