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.

Syria: Additional cVDPV2 situation reported, Vaccines destroyed

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In Syria, one new type 2 circulating vaccine-derived polio (cVDPV2) situation continues to be reported now.  The situation was reported in Mayadeen district, Deir Ez-Zor governorate, coupled with onset on 19 August. During the time of infection, the kid was 19 several weeks old, with no good reputation for polio vaccination.

Syria Image/CIASyria

The majority of every case continue being from Mayadeen, the epicentre of the outbreak.

This boosts the current number of instances within this outbreak to 48.

Additionally, the planet Health Organization has gotten reports of the attack on medical facilities in eastern Syrian Arab Republic which has destroyed the only real vaccines cold room in al-Mayadeen district, Deir Ezzor Governorate.

Greater than 100,000 doses of measles vaccines and 35,000 doses of polio vaccines were kept in these facilities, alongside equipment, syringes, and stocks for those vaccine-avoidable childhood illnesses.

“WHO makes strenuous efforts in cooperation with health government bodies to provide vaccines to safeguard the kids residing in these areas from disease,” stated Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative within the Syrian Arab Republic. “We positively condemn these actions. Vaccines aren’t the best target of war.”

“Until a brand new cold room is made and also the needed cold chain equipment — including solar fridges, cold boxes and vaccine carriers — are delivered, this can delay the implementation of routine immunization for vulnerable children in the region,Inches Hoff added.