One more child dies of diphtheria

One more child from the district died of diphtheria on Thursday, sending shockwaves and reminding the health authorities of the district’s vulnerability to the preventable deadly disease. A 14-year-old boy from Periyambalam, Pulikkal, near Kondotty, died at Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, where he was admitted a few days ago.

A child from Tanur had died of diphtheria last week, prompting the district administration to go all-out against the disease. “We are in a critical stage. We need to go full throttle not only against diphtheria but all other diseases preventable through immunisation,” said District Collector Venkatesapathy S.

Almost one-third of the district’s population aged below 16 years had evaded immunisation either partly or fully largely owing to parental misconceptions. A desperate move is on in the district to bring back those children under immunisation cover.

The health authorities were yet to confirm whether the deceased boy from Periyambalam had been immunised or not. “We couldn’t immediately confirm it because of the relocation of the family,” said District Medical Officer V. Ummer Farook.

Born at Olavanna in Kozhikode district, the boy had lived several years at Marad before his family moved to Periyambalam four years ago. The boy’s family neither confirmed nor denied whether he was immunised. The Health Department here swung into action on Thursday examining 225 children at A.M.M. High School, Pulikkal, where the child had studied. Two of them who showed symptoms of fever were referred to Medical College, Kozhikode.

The 45 children and teachers of Class IX, in which the boy studied, were given antibiotic prophylaxis. Dr. Farook said they would soon be given TD (tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine.

Mr. Venkatesapathy said that he had convened a meeting on Saturday to finalise an action plan for the district.

Malappuram’s vulnerability

to the preventable deadly disease exposed

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 7:18:09 PM |

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