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National

June 8, 2016

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Body to probe death of two children from measles vaccine in DG Khan

Civic circles blame EDO health, thesupervisor of campaign

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DERA GHAZI KHAN: DCO Nadeemul Rehman has constituted a committed headed by Health EDO Munawar Abbas to probe the death of two children after they were administered measles vaccine.

On June 2, a two-member team of the Health Department comprising vaccinator Altaf Khursheed and Habibullah from Tibbi Qaisrani RHC reached Dhuppa and Bizzak village and administered measles vaccine to children during a campaign. As a result, 15-month-old Muhammad Zubair and 10-month-old Mariam suffered anaphylactic shocks that caused their death while 10 others, including Ayesha Khan, M Sibtain, Shahzad Ahmad, Muhammad Moaz, Eman Bibi, Noman Ahmad Khan and Khalid Iqbal got seriously ill. They were shifted to Taunsa Sharif Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. Later, three of them, Ayesha, Sibtain and Shahzad, were referred to the Children Hospital, Multan. Taking notice of the incident, the DCO has ordered an inquiry and constituted a committee.

On the other hand, a lower grade staffer of the Health Department has been suspended while services of two medical officers have been surrendered to the health secretary. Meanwhile, parents of the children alleged that either the vaccine was expired or poorly stored, which reacted strongly. They alleged that authorities concerned were trying to hush up the issue. It is learnt the generator at the office of EDO Health was out-of-order where the vaccine was stored.

Civic circles blamed the Health EDO for the deaths for being supervisor of the anti-measles campaign. They alleged that the district administration had favoured the Health EDO by appointing him head of the inquiry committee.

When contacted, Health EDO Munawar Abbas denied the allegations. He said the children did not die due to reaction of the vaccine as it occurs immediately, but they survived for 12 to 18 hours. He said the children suffered vomiting and diarrhea, which dehydrated them. He claimed the vaccine at the main store was well maintained and it did not cause adverse reaction among children in the rest of the area during the campaign.

To a question about surrendering services of senior medical officers of Tibbi Qaisrani and Vehoa rural health centres to the Health Department, he said the two officers did not provide follow-up treatment to the children, which was their responsibility. It is also learnt that the Punjab health director general and the health secretary have launched independent inquiries.

 

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