Tuesday, 6 Jumadil Awwal 1439 / 23 January 2018

Tuesday, 6 Jumadil Awwal 1439 / 23 January 2018

Jakarta to vaccinate 1.9 million children against Diphtheria

Kamis 04 January 2018 02:30 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

A student show brochure of Diphtheria awareness after getting immunization at SMAN 33 Jakarta, West Jakarta, on December 11, 2017.

A student show brochure of Diphtheria awareness after getting immunization at SMAN 33 Jakarta, West Jakarta, on December 11, 2017.

Foto: Republika/Mahmud Muhyidin

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The government of Jakarta has been working to vaccinate 1.9 million children, or a slight increase from the previous target of 1.7 million in a bid to fight the outbreak of diphtheria.

"We have decided to cover all children, so not just 1.2 million but the target now has been increased to 1.9 million people," Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan stated at the City Hall here on Wednesday.

Jakarta had recorded 109 cases of diphtheria last year, with the figure increasing from 17 cases in 2016, 10 in 2015, and four in 2014.

"The increase is relatively high, so we need to take some extraordinary measures," Anies noted.

Also read: Jokowi chairs meeting to discuss spread of diphtheria

The Health Department of Jakarta had conducted a simultaneously vaccination of children, as they are most vulnerable to the bacteria through the Diphtheria Outbreak Response Immunization Program in some areas last year.

Until now, major diphtheria-infected cases were found in children, but Governor Anies intends to cover grown-ups too as a precautionary measure.

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the throat and nose, with initial flu-like symptoms but can aggravate to fever, swallowing difficulties, hoarseness, enlarged lymph nodes, coughing, and shortness of breath; while in some patients, the disease may affect the skin, leading to ulcers.

Although it can spread easily from an infected person to others within two to three days of having contracted the bacterial infection, diphtheria can be prevented through the use of vaccines.

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