The death of a 10-year-old girl at Kottappuram, Vizhinjam, on Monday, following the complications of diphtheria, a vaccine-preventable disease, has once again raised concerns about the fall in routine immunisation rates and the lack of alertness among the health field staff in ensuring that all children complete the immunisation schedule.

In 2011 also, a three-and-a-half year old girl had died of diphtheria at Kottappuram. Health officials who led a field survey in the locality then were shocked to learn that there were 502 partially immunised children in the same age group.

Medical camp

On Tuesday, Health officials who conducted a mass surveillance medical camp at Kottappuram and nearby four wards, found that of the total 403 children under five years of age, 388 were fully immunised and that there were 15 partially immunised children.

Ten-year-old Tiny had been admitted to the SAT hospital with fever and sore throat on June 18.

Though she was administered diphtheria anti-toxin, she developed myocarditis and breathed her last on June 23.

As part of the preventive measures, Health officials have now administered a prophylactic dose of erythromycin to all under-15-year-olds in the locality.