Diphtheria Returns: New Survey to assess vaccination


Malappuram: After a break, diphtheria cases have been reported in Kerala’s Malappuram district again. On Saturday with the bereavement of a 16-year-old boy due to diphtheria at Tanner exposing the chinks in the vaccination drive, the medical authorities have decided to demeanor a new complete survey to review the vaccination cover of Malappuram district. The survey will assemble an updated data regarding unimmunized and partially immunized children in the district.

In 2013, the district reported 11 cases, with one death, but last year there were no reports of any diphtheria cases. Management officials conveyed that at present occurrence in Malappuram could be accredited to the Muslim community’s unwillingness to vaccination. Malappuram has the second largest Muslim population among Indian districts. Though the medical management had equipped a statistics of the immunized children under 'Mission Indradhanush'- a particular vaccination programmed launched last year, the officials themselves agree that the statistics are not genuine and correct. As per the figures of the special immunization study of children aged between 0-6 years, conducted in October 2015, the whole number of children who are yet to be brought beneath the vaccination cover was 2.3 lakh, who are either unimmunized or partially immunized. The study conveys that the full amount numbers of unimmunized children are 25,346 and incompletely immunized children are 2, 03,990, the study says. Coarse approximation shows that the total number of unimmunized and partially immunized children has decreased to less than 1.5 lakh.

The district medical administration sources conveyed that there are probability for errors in the data as the figure of vaccinated children in the district shows a clear add to during the last five years, mainly due to the awareness programmes.