Situation with diphtheria under control – Skaletska
Health Minister of Ukraine Zoriana Skaletska has said that there is no diphtheria epidemic in the country and that Ukraine has enough vaccines.
"We are not talking about a serious epidemic. The situation is under control. Last year we had 10 patients and used 141 doses of antitoxin. Several hundred were discarded due to shelf life expiration. So, Ukraine's demand for antitoxin was 141 doses," Skaletska said in an interview which was posted by the online publication BBC Ukraine on November 2.
The minister added that Ukraine already has 200 bottles of antitoxin and international organizations would pass 150 or 170 more bottles as humanitarian aid.
"Embassies will also provide us with another 100 in case of necessity. So, in fact we can count on 450 bottles of antitoxin and this number of medicines is sufficient," she said.
Skaletska added that the vaccines have been distributed to regions and that regions could exchange medicines.
"There were reports about absence of the vaccines in some districts in Kyiv region, however we monitor and control the issue. I hope we will see an increase in the number of vaccines in regions. If not, I will talk to region heads," the minister said.
Twenty diphtheria cases were reported in Ukraine as of October 28, 2019, including 18 registered in October.
A nine-year-old student of a Kyiv-based lyceum school was diagnosed with diphtheria.