Kozhkode: A Facebook post of a student, who landed in the isolation ward of diphtheria patients with its symptoms of the disease, urging parents to vaccinate their kids, has gone viral with 150 shares.
It also triggered a discussion on the vicious campaign against vaccination by quacks and fringe groups with a communal tinge.
A postgraduate student of English literature at Madras Christian College, Chennai, Neha Sasikumar, had her brush with diphtheria in May while on an internship programme in a media house here.
“As part of my training I was planning to do a story on the valour with which people faced Nipah outbreak,” she said.
“But soon I found myself landed in an isolation ward at Medical College Hospital, which was the hub for fighting Nipah, not with Nipah but with acute symptoms of diphtheria.”
There she witnessed the emotions of mothers who cursed themselves for not allowing health officials to administer the vaccine.
"Around me, many died due to various diseases, and I also heard reports of death due to diphtheria," she writes on her Facebook wall.
“Though there were all symptoms of diphtheria, doctors soothed me saying results would be negative as I had administered vaccines.”
She also had a peaceful break from routines as parents also were confident.
“In my ward, there was an 18-year old who was struggling with diphtheria. When doctors asked his parents whether he had taken the vaccination, the mother said that she had failed to administer as relatives of husband opposed. Pointing at the tiny sister of the youth, the mother said, what may come she would surely administer all vaccines to her.
“Even as I lay helplessly on the hospital bed without able to eat or drink anything due to acute throat pain, what made me comfortable was the faith in the vaccines that my parents administered”, she says.
Now discharged and preparing to resume her studies, she warns all parents denying vaccines may lead their children to die a pitiable death in acute pain without even quenching thirst....