Rise in whooping cough cases worry parents

LARKANA: Sudden outbreak of whooping cough in entire Larkana division has worried the parents as 43 child patients were admitted in two months in Institute of Child Health, Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

Out of these 43 children, 14 were admitted in February and 29 in March 2015, PPI learnt on Thursday.

Out of these total admitted cases, 22 belonged to Larkana, 15 to Kambar-Shahdadkot, 4 to Khairpur, one each to Shikarpur & Jacobabad districts.

This is mainly attributed to the failure of the EPI system which has become ineffective as the health bosses fully concentrate on polio eradication vaccination from door to door and village to village ignoring other vaccination programs.

Prof Saifullah Jamro, Head, Department of Paeds Medicine, Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, told PPI that previously 20 to 40 cases were reported in a year but it is for the first time that 500 whooping cough cases arrived in OPD in just five months and as many as 43 children were admitted in last two months in Paeds Medicine Department which is alarming.

Prof: Jamro further said that this disease is spreading very fast and added that it also raises many key questions about the efficacy of vaccination programmes. He further said that if one patient requires whooping cough treatment then other children of his or her family and the whole village also need to be treated or vaccinated properly to stop further spreading.

A senior doctor said that out of total patients examined by them daily in the OPD, 40% are suffering from this disease which shows that it is spreading very fast among the populace which needs to be tackled urgently. He said that basic EPI system has collapsed because of the fact that district health authorities have been forced for carrying out most effective polio vaccination drive to ensure its eradication due to global pressure and that is the main reason that EPI vaccination program has suffered badly. Another reason which he quoted was about non-availability of required trained manpower, late receipt of drugs & medicines due to formation central procurement committee & non-availability vigorous campaigns which used to be done in the past in remote and far flung areas of the province.

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