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Health Dept Initiates Measures to Contain Diphtheria Outbreak in Rayagada’s Manushpadar Village

Bhubaneswar: In response to a diphtheria outbreak in Manushpadar village, Kashipur Block, Smt. Salini Pandit, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department, has directed the Collector of Rayagada to implement stringent containment measures to curb the spread of the disease.

In a directive issued today, Smt. Pandit emphasized the urgency of controlling the outbreak among the vulnerable populations. She instructed the Collector to ensure daily surveillance for early detection of fever and sore throat cases in Manushpadar and its neighboring villages and blocks. Suspected cases are to be referred to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) in Rayagada for prompt treatment. Surveillance activities are to continue for 20 days following the detection of the last case, double the incubation period of the disease.

To bolster these efforts, the Health Department has mandated the engagement of adequate healthcare workers and supervisors for the surveillance and referral of suspected cases. Containment measures will be enforced to prevent the spread of diphtheria to adjacent villages, and movement in and out of Manushpadar will be restricted.

A micro-plan is being developed to assess vaccination coverage in Manushpadar and other hard-to-reach areas within Kashipur Block. Integrated vaccination camps will be organized to immunize all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children according to the National Immunization Schedule, alongside providing other essential health services.

Sufficient stocks of medicines and vaccines will be maintained at the block level to address any emergencies. Daily inter-departmental convergence meetings at both block and district levels will ensure coordinated efforts to contain the outbreak. Surveillance and vaccination coverage reports will be submitted daily to the State Surveillance Unit and the Directorate of Family Welfare.

A recent visit by the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) and Public Health Officer (PHO) of Rayagada, along with a state team from June 12 to 14, highlighted the challenges in reaching the affected village, located 11 km from the Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Dongasil, with 4 km of the route being non-motorable due to hilly terrain. During the visit, an activity plan was developed to strengthen surveillance, conduct house-to-house visits for vaccination assessment, and plan mop-up drives. Additionally, information, education, and communication (IEC) activities on personal hygiene and preventive measures were initiated.

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