Measles outbreak: SHC issues notices to CS, health secy

Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday put chief secretary, health secretary, DG health and finance secretary on notice in a petition calling for effective measures against an epidemic disease, measles, erupted in various districts of Sindh province.

The petitioner, Rana Faisul Hasan, representing non-governmental organization, United Human Rights Commission, cited province of Sindh through chief secretary, secretary health department, DG health and secretary finance department as respondents.

He submitted that pertaining to media reports the World Health Organization revealed that as many as 210 children died of measles in Sindh province, adding only on first January as many as 35 children fell prey to this disease in different districts of the province.

He stated that health department sources disclosed that despite the numerous deaths the children were not being treated properly at private and public hospitals.

He said that on Jan 1, 15 children died in Kandhkot, four in Shikarpur, two each in Sukkur and Sakrand, and one each in Mehar and Hingorja. He said that on Jan 6, measles caused 15 deaths including two each in Shikarpur and Mirpur Mathelo, three in Dadu and four in Khairpur Nathan Shah.

He said that on Jan 7, fifteen more died in Sukkur, Ghotki, Kandhkot, Shikarpur and Bhan Saeedabad. He submitted that health department has failed to control the disease due to not responding to situation on time.

He said it appears from statement of health department that children dying of measles disease were not big problem, adding government’s efforts to control the disease are limited to the statements.

He stated before the court that huge budget is allocated for provision of medical facilities to the public, however he added that such budget is engulfed by corruption.

He prayed to court to direct secretary health and director general health to file the comments regarding the controlling epidemic disease and mobile medical teams may be dispatched to affected districts.

He pleaded court that chief secretary may be asked to explain as to how much funds were allocated for the purpose.

Headed by Chief Justice, Mushir Alam, division bench issued notice to respondents as well as advocate general Sindh and put off the hearing till date later be decided by office of court.

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