Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)

 Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesia has launched an immunisation campaign against diphtheria after the disease claimed dozens of lives in the country.

The campaign which runs to weekend aims to immunise eight million children and teenagers, especially in the country’s three most populous localities, including Jakarta capital city, said Indonesian Ministry of Health on December 11.

This year, nearly 600 cases have been detected in 95 communities across 20 provinces, killing 32 people. The increase of diphtheria cases is due to poor public awareness and an anti-vaccination movement, said Indonesia’s health sector.

Indonesian authorities hope to halt the disease spread before the country hosts the Asian Games in 2018.

Diphtheria is a bacterial disease that can cause breathing difficulties, heart failure and paralysis.-VNA