West Java to expand diphtheria outbreak response immunization
The Jakarta Post
The West Java administration is set to begin the second stage of the outbreak response immunization (ORI) program next month to contain the spread of diphtheria in 18 regencies and cities across the province.
“The [provincial] administration is coordinating the [ORI] program, while city and regency administrations will execute it through integrated health posts [Puskesmas] in their respective areas,” said West Java Governor Ahmad “Aher” Heryawan as quoted by tempo.co on Monday.
Five of the total 18 areas are cities and regencies where the first stage of the ORI program was conducted. They include Bekasi city, Bekasi regency, Depok, Karawang and Purwakarta. In these five areas, which have become the government’s priority areas, the re-vaccination program targeted children aged one to 19 years.
In nine West Java regencies and cities, ORI is conducted only in districts where diphtheria cases have been identified. Since last December, 13 areas in the province, including Bandung city, Cirebon, Garut and Sukabumi, have declared the extraordinary occurrence (KLB) of diphtheria.
Aher said the central government would supply the vaccines for the expanded ORI program.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed the Health Ministry to swiftly expand the re-immunization program against diphtheria during a Cabinet meeting in December. The ORI program was then expanded to 18 provinces after previously being held only in Banten, Jakarta and West Java.
In three priority areas, where diphtheria cases are rife, the ORI program will also be expanded to more cities and regencies.
In West Java, diphtheria cases have been reported in 23 regencies and cities, affecting 224 people, 15 of whom have died. (nmn/ebf)
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