Vitamin A plus campaign in Bangladesh 2019 likely next week
12:00 AM, January 19, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:04 PM, January 19, 2019

Vitamin A plus campaign likely next week

A previously postponed vitamin A capsules distribution campaign is likely to be held next week, health ministry officials said.

The campaign, originally slated for today, was postponed after reports of defects in the vitamin capsules.

“After postponement, we initially decided to hold the campaign on January 26. However, we will finalise the decision next Sunday if we can distribute the capsules across the country,” Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Daily Star yesterday.

The government has a large stockpile of vitamin A capsules for another campaign scheduled for June. Those capsules will be used in next campaign instead, he added.

The health ministry on Wednesday postponed the campaign after receiving reports of the capsules being stuck together.

Children of six to 11 months get a dose of the blue and those aged between 12 and 59 months get a dose of the red vitamin A capsules. The campaign is conducted twice a month.

In some areas, the red capsules were found stuck together, officials said.

The National Drug Control Laboratory examined the capsules, imported from India two months ago, and found them okay.

“We think some capsules got stuck together because of moisture,” said Prof Azad, adding that the decision on whether to use them would be taken after investigation.

A seven-member committee, led by Prof Enayet Hussain, additional DG of the DGHS, has been formed for to investigate the matter. Another committee from the health ministry was also formed.

Prof Azad said the capsules were imported through an international tendering process as per the condition of the World Bank, which funded its purchase.

A local company got the work order for supplying the capsules, but an Indian company went to the High Court against it.

The court ordered in favour of the Indian company, said DGHS officials. 

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