At least 48 children died this year from highly-infectious disease diphtheria in North Corporation run Maharishi Valmiki Hospital allegedly due to non-availability of diphtheria antitoxin (Serum). According to a data released by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NMC), 358 patients were admitted in which 166 were admitted alone in September.
Further, 20 children have died in September alone in which 17 patients were from Uttar Pradesh and three from Delhi. The highest toll recorded in 2016 as 134 children died from the same disease.
Concerned over the gravity of the matter, a team of ‘World Health Organisation’ also visited the hospital on Monday to take the stock of the situation.
Hospital administration in a statement issued last week stated that children were admitted in very advance stages and did not respond to the treatment. Most of them were not vaccinated for diphtheria, it said.
The North Delhi Mayor Adesh Gupta has also formed a high-level enquiry committee under the chairmanship of the Additional Commissioner (Health) to ascertain the cause of deaths.
The diphtheria toxin causes a membrane of dead tissue to build up over the throat and tonsils, making breathing and swallowing difficult. The disease is spread through direct physical contact or from breathing in the aerosolised secretions from coughs or sneezes of infected individuals.