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Monday, July 18, 2011

India : Immunisation drive fares poorly, diphtheria cases up

Via Daily Baskar :

" Jaipur: The death of a six-month-old child from Sawai Madhopur and four other persons found suffering from diphtheria in the city's JK Lone Hospital last fortnight has raised serious questions on the efficacy of immunisation programmes in the state.

A combination vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus is given to every child under various immunisation programmes.

"Few children, who were in post diphtheria stage, were admitted in the JK Lone Hospital but no case has been reported as diphtheria is reported by eye and throat unit at SMS Hospital. At JK Lone Hospital, few children came in post diphtheria stage," said Dr SD Gupta, superintendent, JK Lone Hospital.

Authorities now say they will fix the responsibility on the health workers in the areas from where such cases and patients have been reported. "We will inquire into who is responsible for these cases," said Dr ML Jain, assistant director, reproductive and child health.

The health department data regarding immunisation programmes in the state shows the lethargy in dealing with the disease. In the first two months of year 2011-12, only 10 per cent target of immunisation has been achieved which is around 5 per cent lower than last year. In 2010-11, the health department could achieve only 83.18 per cent of its annual target which shows a glaring gap between the need and action taken."

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