In a follow-up on the report of an increase in diphtheria cases in Indonesia this year, Minister of Health Prof Nila Moeloek and Governor of Jakarta Anies Baswedan launched an Outbreak Response Immunization (ORI) in Cengkareng, Jakarta, Monday.
ORI is given to children 0-18 years old. In Jakarta, ORI will be conducted in health facilities, schools, and even shopping malls. The first phase is to be conducted to reach 1.2 million of population in West and North Jakarta. The outreach will eventually cover the entire population of Jakarta, aged between 0 to 18 years old.
Diphtheria outbreak was caused by lack of high level of immunization coverage over time, resulting in accumulation of susceptible children/adolescent. In many areas, these unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children are at highest risk of getting infected by the disease.
Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation in consultation with team of experts and appropriate surveillance, immunization and case management guidelines have been provided. Indonesian Pediatric Association (IDAI) has also reinforced messages to its members.
Through the end of November, 591 cases have been reported from 95 districts in 20 provinces. The majority i.e. 80% of these cases have been reported from seven provinces (Banten, West Jawa, East Jawa, Bangka Belitung, Jambi, and Lampung). Some cases have also been reported in Jakarta province. Most cases are seen among young children under 18 years of age who were either not vaccinated or were partially vaccinated.
The rise in cases in 2017 is attributed to several reasons, including some families rejecting vaccinations, lack of awareness on the benefit of vaccination, and for some areas lack of access to services.
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