Diphtheria among Rohingya refugees: ‘Could be only the tip from the iceberg’

Recently we reported on vaccination drives for cholera, measles and polio at Cox’s Bazar for Rohingya children. Today, the planet Health Organization (WHO) cautioned that diphtheria is quickly distributing among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh with suspected cases as much as 110, including six deaths.

“These cases might be only the beginning. It is really an very vulnerable population with low vaccination coverage, residing in conditions that may be a breeding ground for infectious illnesses like cholera, measles, rubella, and diphtheria,” stated Dr Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, WHO Representative to Bangladesh.


“This is the reason why we’ve protected greater than 700,000 individuals with the dental cholera vaccine, in addition to greater than 350,000 kids with measles-rubella vaccine inside a campaign that ended yesterday. Now we suffer from diphtheria.”

Since August 2017, greater than 624,000 people fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar have collected in densely populated temporary settlements with poor use of water that is clean, sanitation and health services – and also the figures still swell.

Who’s dealing with the Bangladesh Secretary of state for Health insurance and Family Welfare, UNICEF and partners to retain the spread from the highly infectious respiratory system disease through effective treatment and sufficient prevention.

LISTEN: Diphtheria: A brief history, the condition, treatment and the prosperity of the vaccines

Together, they’re supporting patient treatment and diagnosis, making certain sufficient resources of medicines, and preparing a vaccination campaign targeting all children as much as 6 years with pentavalent (DPT-HepB-Hib) and pneumococcal vaccines, which safeguard against diphtheria along with other illnesses. Training has already been going ahead for vaccinators.

That has acquired a preliminary 1,000 vials of diphtheria antitoxins that result from get to Bangladesh through the weekend. Coupled with antibiotics, the antitoxins can help to save the lives of individuals already have contracted diphtheria, by neutralizing toxins created through the deadly bacteria.

“We will work with partners to make sure that clinical guidance can be obtained to health workers, and there are enough beds and medicines for individuals who become ill. But the only method to control this outbreak would be to safeguard people, particularly children, through vaccination,” stated Dr Paranietharan.

Diphtheria: Crises in Yemen and Venezuela lead to re-emergence

War and conflict in Yemen as well as in Venezuela, a socialistic government and resulting social and economic chaos which goes hands-in-hands with this type of government, is responsible for a destruction of existing healthcare systems as well as an interruption in vaccinations one of the population.

The Ecu Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) lately reported the latest diphtheria situations in individuals desperate countries.



On 16 November 2017, WHO reports 120 clinically installments of diphtheria and 14 deaths in past days in Yemen, mostly in youngsters. A minumum of one million youngsters are presently vulnerable to contracting diphtheria because of the unavailability of vaccines and medicines in Yemen.

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Diphtheria is endemic in Yemen. The final recorded cases were in 2013. Based on UNICEF , the proportion of surviving infants who received the first and 3rd dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoid with pertussis that contains vaccine (DTP1/DTP3) within the last 10 years was between 81% and 88%.


In Venezuela, in 2017, by week 42, 511 probable diphtheria cases were reported. Samples were obtained from 452 from the cases (88.5%), which 146 (32.3%) were laboratory confirmed (69 by isolation and resolution of contaminant production by Elek make sure 38 by Polymerase Squence Of Events). The confirmed cases were reported in 17 federal entities.

LISTEN: Diphtheria: A brief history, the condition, treatment and the prosperity of the vaccines

Based on the report supplied by Venezuelan government bodies, from The month of january to September 2017, vaccination coverage in youngsters under twelve months old arrived at 68%, and 42% of kids aged five had the booster. The Venezuela Secretary of state for Health has intensified vaccination against diphtheria included in the national plan. Nine million doses from the vaccine are for sale to this activity. Additionally, national and native government bodies are strengthening epidemiological surveillance, active search and analysis of cases and phone tracing.