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diphtheria outbreak in Sindh

A long-eliminated infectious illness, diphtheria, has reared its ugly head and killed 10 children in the province in the past two months, despite warnings from the authorities about the development of watery infections in the flood-affected districts of Sindh.

Health professionals worry that the actual number of deaths from the disease could be significantly greater than the reported numbers.

The incredibly deadly illness is no longer present in the majority of the world.

When asked about the number of diphtheria cases and fatalities caused by the bacterial infection, Dr. Irshad Memon, Project Director of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), responded to The News, “So far 10 children have lost their lives due to diphtheria in Sindh while 39 cases have been confirmed in the province.”

Diphtheria, according to specialists in infectious illnesses, is a severe infection brought on by bacteria called “Corynebacterium diphtheriae” that produces toxins and can cause breathing difficulties, issues with heart rhythm, and even death.

A diphtheria outbreak, according to senior paediatric infectious diseases expert Dr. Asad Ali, has been reported from Karachi and other areas of Sindh.

According to official statistics, the virus has killed 10 people, but the speaker suggested that the actual number of vaccine-preventable disease-related deaths may be five times greater.

“We need outbreak investigation, higher rates of routine childhood immunization, and additional booster Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus (DPT) vaccine in our EPI program,” said Dr. Asad Ali, who is also the associate dean of research at Aga Khan University.

According to the health expert, several nations have eradicated diphtheria through vaccination because children in those nations receive a second dose of the DPT vaccine in their later childhood years, however, in Pakistan, no booster dose is given, which causes it to affect kids with low immunity.

According to Prof. Jamal Raza, a distinguished pediatrician, Pakistan’s immunization coverage is not very excellent and is lower than the official statistic of 70% reach.

Mahnur Mehfooz
Written By

Mahnur is MS(development Studies)Student at NUST University, completed BS Hons in Eng Literature. Content Writer, Policy analyst, Climate Change specialist, Teacher, HR Recruiter.


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