THE inefficacy of locally made vaccines, according to doctors, is fanning the resurgence of a diphtheria epidemic in Russia and the newly independant states of the former Soviet Union. In the first 9 months of 1994, 21,622 people had contracted the disease in Russia alone. So far this year, 45 people have been affected in the republic of Bashkortostan, including some who had been previously vaccinated. Ukraine is one of the worst affected, with 1,029 people having caught the disease and 38 dead this year.
Decreasing immunisation, weakening of general immunity among adults, breakdown of health services and largescale human movement over the past few years have worsened the scenario. The low rate of immunisation is attributed to Russian doctors strapped by a a list of contraindications they had drawn up.(ips)
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.