Control of Endemic Cholera in Bangladesh: Update the existing cholera investment case, surveillance and developing the funding consortium

Epidemiology surveillance - Vaccines - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Bangladesh active

Project timeline: 15/02/2016 - 14/02/2022

Lead Researcher

Dr. Firdausi Qadri

Organisation / Institution

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b)

Funders

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Project summary

Bangladesh remains endemic for cholera, which experiences biannual outbreaks with additional epidemics seen during times of floods, cyclones or any natural disaster [1, 2]. It affects all age groups with the majority of fatal cases occurring in children [3-6]. Therefore, immunization against cholera remains an important public health component in the prevention and control of the disease [6]. A problem that may be a stumbling block in the path is that the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is in short supply globally and only about 2-3 million doses are produced each year. In Bangladesh alone we anticipate that 170 million doses will be needed in a 5 year time frame if only high risk populations are targeted. Globally for the rest of Asia and Africa as well as for Haiti, millions of doses of vaccine is needed for control of endemic and epidemic cholera. The global demand for the vaccine is therefore high and the good news is that, there is now provision for local production of over 50 million doses in Bangladesh. With this prospect in view, planning for prevention of cholera by use of OCV, it may be possible to decrease the burden of the disease in Bangladesh.

Knowledge gap

More evidence is needed to address uncertainties around the cholera disease burden, as well as the impact, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of various vaccination strategies against cholera, to add to the existing knowledge base. A special need for acquiring field evidence of these vaccine attributes in settings with endemic cholera, which account for a very large fraction of the global cholera disease burden, is also recognized [7].

There is a great need for identify financing mechanisms for introduction of vaccination against cholera. All these efforts will hopefully decrease the burden due to cholera which has both health and financial burden on the country. Studies have shown that the cost of hospitalization and illness to the patient and the family is around ten times higher than the cost of vaccine [8, 9].

A countrywide surveillance is needed which will help to identify the disease burden in the country, so as to plan appropriate treatment and preventive measures.

Relevance

Bangladesh needs to plan strategies for introduction of a locally produced oral cholera vaccine in Bangladesh. Thus clear information from national stakeholders on the cholera investment strategy for Bangladesh is needed based on which future plans can be made. In addition, information i s needed on the strategies for vaccination and areas which need to come under coverage. With the availability of a locally produced vaccine in Bangladesh, financing plans and funders will be needed to materialize the immunization plans for people with OCV.

Objectives

The objectives of the proposal are as follows:

  • Build a plan (including surveillance of high risk areas) and identify strategies for the introduction of OCV in Bangladesh by developing the cholera investment case based on the present scenario.
  • Identify a financing plan for the introduction of the locally produced vaccine in Bangladesh in the short term.

Methods

We will update the current cholera investment case study on cholera vaccination for Bangladesh which was previously prepared by International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in 2009. This will provide a useful evidence based guide to policy makers in Bangladesh in making decisions about the use of OCV as well as to the global health community in considering technical and financial support for cholera vaccine introduction. The information on where and whom to vaccinate will also be obtained to accumulate information by working on nationwide cholera surveillance from all over Bangladesh. Surveillance will be conducted in different government and non government hospitals and medical colleges in sites already known to have diarrheal disease burden.

Lay summary

Bangladesh remains endemic for cholera, which experiences biannual outbreaks with additional epidemics seen during times of floods, cyclones or any natural disaster. It affects all age groups with the majority of fatal cases occurring in children. Therefore, immunization against cholera remains an important public health component in the prevention and control of the disease. In Bangladesh alone we anticipate that 170 million doses will be needed in a 5 year time frame if only high risk populations are targeted. The global demand for the vaccine is high and the good news is that, there is now provision for local production of over 50 million doses in Bangladesh. With this prospect in view, planning for prevention of cholera by use of OCV, it may be possible to decrease the burden of the disease in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh needs to plan strategies for introduction of a locally produced oral cholera vaccine in Bangladesh. Thus clear information from national stakeholders on the cholera investment strategy for Bangladesh is needed based on which future plans can be made. In addition, information is needed on the strategies for vaccination and areas which need to come under coverage. With the availability of a locally produced vaccine in Bangladesh, financing plans and funders will be needed to materialize the immunization plans for people with OCV.

Therefore, the objectives of the current study are as follows:

  • Build a plan (including surveillance of high risk areas) and identify strategies for the introduction of OCV in Bangladesh by developing the cholera investment case based on the present scenario.
  • Identify a financing plan for the introduction of the locally produced vaccine in Bangladesh in the short term.

Potential for public health impact or global health decision-making

Different data will be used to develop and recommend up to 3 optimal strategies for introduction of Oral Cholera vaccine (OCV) with associated vaccine demand, budget and health impact. For this recommendation we will communicate with different level of Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and other internal and external stakeholders with our preferred feasible strategy for introduction of vaccine.

Co-Investigators

John David Clemens, icddr,b
Ashraful Islam Khan, icddr,b
Professor Mahmudur Rahman, Ph.D, IEDCR
Abdur Razzaque, icddr,b
Fahima Chowdhury, icddr,b
Azharul Islam Khan, icddr,b
Md. Jasim Uddin, icddr,b
Yasmin Ara Begum, icddr,b
Md. Atique Iqbal Chowdhury, icddr,b
Ziaul Islam, icddr,b
Md Taufiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, icddr,b
Farhana Khanam, icddr,b
Md. Abu Sayeed, icddr,b
Zahid Hasan Khan, icddr,b
Md. Mazharul Islam Zion, icddr,b
Md. Taufiqul Islam, icddr,b
Muhammad Shariful Islam, icddr,b
Prof. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, DGHS
Jahangir A. M. Khan, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Ali, Mohammad, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Prof. (cc) Dr. Tahmina Shirin, IEDCR
Dr. M. Salim Uzzaman, IEDCR
Dr. Iqbal Ansary Khan, IEDCR
Eric Jorge Nelson, LPCH, Stanford, CA
Dr. Shafqat Akanda, University of Rhode Island

Key Collaborators

Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR)
ideSHi /CMBT (Institute for Developing Science & Health Initiatives)