Docs demand probe into vaccine deaths

PESHAWAR - Expressing dissatisfaction over inquiry report about children's deaths caused by measles vaccines in Peshawar, the doctors' community on Friday demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident and asked the government to immediately withdraw the suspension order of their colleagues.
Addressing a news conference here at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday, Dr Umar of the Pediatric Department along with Provincial Doctors Association Vice President Dr Amir Taj said the provincial government, health department and WHO were responsible for the deaths of children. Criticising the provincial government, he said, why did not the health department take serious steps after the outbreak of first measles case. He said the government was failed to declare emergency in major teaching hospitals of the provincial metropolis in this connection.
Flanked by Dr Rajput, Dr Amir Nasim, Dr Qayyam and Dr Rizwan, Umar said the measles vaccines, which used in special immunisation drive from May 9 to 31, was imported from India due to its nominal rates. While, he said the diluent's water using for mixing with measles vaccines also needed to import from abroad.
He alleged during the drive, the water mixed with measles vaccines was of substandard quality and of local trademark that also caused Rs1 billion financial losses to provincial kitty.
He informed the same measles vaccines also caused deaths of several children in India in March 2011 but the government did not take the issue into consideration.
The provincial government, Dr Umar said, should explain the procedure for cold chain, transportation, storage and duration of measles vaccines. He said during the special immunisation campaign measles vaccines were mostly injected into children's veins through untrained staffs appointed on political grounds.
On the occasion, Dr Amir Taj said that pediatrics were not taken into confidence before launch of measles campaign in the province. During the campaign, he informed more than 157 children have been died but the provincial government suspended only 17 senior and junior doctors on the basis of three deaths in the Khyber Teaching Hospital and Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, which is unfair and an injustice with these doctors.

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