One more death reported due to Diphtheria in Kerala’s Malappuram District

Malappuram,Kerala, June 23:  Raising serious concerns over the fall in immunization coverage in Malappuram, another death due to Diphtheria reported in the district.
Muhammed Afsal, 15, a class IX student of Cherukavu school in Pulikkal, who was admitted to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH) on Wednesday evening due to complications of Diphtheria, died at hospital early morning on Thursday. The boy, who hails from Beypore in Kozhikode district was staying with his family at Cherukavu near Kondotty for last one year.

Following the report of a second death due to Diphtheria in the district the district medical administration is all set to intensify their vaccination campaign across the district.

The district medical officer has convened a meeting of health volunteers and medical officers under Cherukavu primary health centre on Thursday morning and the meeting will decided future course of action to prevent the spread of disease. Diphtheria had claimed life of a 16 year old boy who is native of Tanur in Malappuram district recently.

 The boy, Muhammed Ameen, 15, who was partially immunised, was under treatment at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital for one week. It was two weeks ago that three children from various parts of the district including the boy at Tanur admitted to Kozhikode Medical College with the symptoms of Diphtheria. But the detailed laboratory examination proved that one case reported from Kondotty was not Diphtheria. A 11-year-old-boy who is a native of Pallikkal is still under treatment at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.
The deputy District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr R Renuka said that the meeting at Cherukavu will take decision on the fresh vaccination drive to be conducted in the area.

After recent deaths due to Diphtheria reported in Tanur, the district collector S Venkadeshapathi had directed to conduct special vaccination drive in Tanur Municipal region and it has already been started. After the disease confirmed in three orphanage inmates in Malappuram last year, a vaccination special drive “Operation Mukthi” had launched in the district. But the death of a boy shows that the ongoing special drives will not help reduce the possibility of reporting of vaccine preventable disease among children who belong to the age group of more than ten, as thousands of children of the age group in Malappuram are unimmunised or partially immunised.