Tuesday June 18, 2024

2 kids die after being vaccinated against measles in Bara

By Munir Khan Afridi
December 22, 2016

4 employees of NGO running
vaccination campaign arrested

BARA: Two children were killed and 11 others fainted after being administered measles vaccine in a door-to-door campaign launched by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency, local sources said on Wednesday.

Also, the security forces arrested four employees of the NGO after the incident that took place in Purdilabad area in Shalobar Union Council in Bara.The vials of measles vaccine were also seized and sent to the laboratory for tests.

The sources said that staff of the NGO in question was vaccinating children against measles when the condition of dozens of them worsened after being administered the vaccine.The two children who fainted following the immunisation were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital while nine were rushed to the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar.

One of the deceased was identified as Abu Bakr, son of Farmanullah while the name of the other child couldn’t be known. However, it was learnt that he belonged to Jamrud tehsil and had come with his parents to visit their relatives in Bara.

A local health practitioner wishing not to be named said that the NGO didn’t follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and carried out door-to-door campaign that increased the risk of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI).  

He said that vaccinators didn’t have AEFI kit that led to the deaths of the two children.“It could have saved the life of the children if they had the AEFI kit that contains necessary injections which can be administered to a person suffering from a reaction,” he added. 

Repeated efforts were made to approach the officials of the political administration and Khyber Agency Health Department for comments, but they didn’t bother to answer the phone.The sources said the measles vaccine had been obtained from Dogra Hospital in Bara.

According to the sources, there were no facilities at the Dogra Hospital to maintain cold chain or the vaccine could have expired and this may have led to the deaths of the children.A local tribal elder, Haji Kaptan Khan Afridi asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to order a probe into the incident and take action against those whose negligence caused the deaths of the children.

He asked the government to announce compensation for the families of the deceased children. It may be added that a child is vaccinated against measles at the age of nine months while a booster shot is given at 15-month age.The cold chain management is the proper procedure to keep the vaccines in a particular temperature for its efficacy.