Diphtheria deaths in Indonesia lead to massive inoculation crusade

Acting consequentially to combat an emergency situation of sorts, healthcare authorities in Indonesia have reportedly commenced a campaign to inoculate nearly 8 million people below 19 years of age in the first phase of its immunization program against diphtheria. Sources cite that the program has stemmed from the fact that the dreaded disease claimed nearly 38 lives this year. Accordingly, many school children had been injected at a high school in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia on 11 December 2017 – the first day when the Indonesian government campaign activity aimed at eradicating the disease completely from the country.Medical experts have stated that the ailment gives rise to breathing problems, paralysis, and heart failures. As per health officials, the disease had been nearly eliminated in the nineties, but has resurfaced in the last four years with the decline in the rates of inoculation, generating an iota of doubt about the effectiveness of the vaccines against the ailment. Government officials however, have attributed the occurrence of the disease to the general public refusal to inoculation.

Sources have asserted that the disease had disappeared from Indonesia during the regime of Suharto, a dictator who ruled the country for over thirty years till 1998. During the tenure, he introduced a family education program as per which the volunteers were sent to villages to increase their awareness related to sanitation as well as inoculation. The program was terminated post his rule and the government was decentralized, increasing the complications of healthcare professionals.

Sources cite that the country is ablaze with misconceptions, including the one that states vaccinations to be hazardous and a violation of the Islamic laws, which may have also resulted in the outbreak of the epidemic. According to the Ministry of Health, this may also have emerged to be one of the major reasons for the decline in the rates of inoculation across the country.