Delhi sees maximum diphtheria deaths in country

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The national capital witnessed highest number of deaths in the past two years in the country due to diphtheria, a bacterial infection that affects membranes of the throat and nose, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.

“The number of deaths due to diphtheria (which is one of the vaccine preventable deaths) in Delhi in 2013 and 2014 were 42 and 60 respectively. It is reported to be the highest in the country in both the years. The total deaths nationwide in 2013 and 2014 were 67 and 104 respectively,” union Minister for Health Jagat Prakash Nadda told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said these deaths have occurred though 71.78 percent of the children were covered under Universal Immunisation Programme in 2012-13, 80.4 percent in 2013-14 and 89.39 percent in 2014-15.

Uttar Pradesh witnessed the highest number of deaths due to tetanus (which is also one of the vaccine preventable deaths), with 58 deaths recorded in 2012, 47 in 2013 and 33 in 2014.

Percentage of children covered under Universal Immunisation Programme in Haryana and Rajasthan recorded lowest in the country in 2015-16 with 0.16 and 19.19 percent respectively, the minister stated in his reply.

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