Success of Immunization System in Bangladesh: Lessons for the World

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Modern civilization arose from the triumph of the industrial revolution and huge cooperative setups in every conceivable sector. However, in order to achieve such an outrageous aim, humanity has forfeited the basic security of its health. Now, at the pinnacle of human expansion and societal change, viruses are also evolving swiftly. To combat this, medical research has invented the method of immunization for prevention of infectious disease propagation. It works by boosting the immune system to create protection against certain pathogens, such as viruses or bacteria, without producing illness. This implies that if a person is exposed to the virus again, their immune system will detect it and fight it off before it causes sickness. In Bangladesh, vaccination has been the most significant public health success story. Bangladesh, a nation of nearly 163 million people, is in the forefront of the process, setting an example of “excellent immunization” not just for the developing world, but also for the developed world. Bangladesh has been steadily increasing its immunization capacity since its independence. The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in May 1974, however EPI in Bangladesh was launched on April 7, 1979 (World Health Day) to guarantee that new-borns, children, and mothers have access to regularly recommended infant and childhood immunizations.

Immunization Success: A Textbook Example for the World

Bangladesh has maintained a relatively high rate of protection with basic vaccines for years, with WHO and UNICEF data putting rates of immunization with the third dose of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus-containing vaccine (DTP3) as the conventional yardstick for vaccine coverage in general at 90% to 98% every year since 2000. Furthermore, Bangladesh has made tremendous strides in the eradication and control of vaccine-preventable illnesses (VPDs). The nation has been polio-free since the discovery of the last wild poliovirus infection in 2006. In 2008, maternal and neonatal tetanus were declared eradicated. Bangladesh also met its rubella control target in 2018.

– S. M. Saifee Islam is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).

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