Spread of measles criminal negligence: PMA

Karachi: Spread of the preventable disease measles in Sindh is a criminal negligence of government, and those who failed to discharge their duties should be held responsible for the death of more than 300 children, said Pakistan Medical Association PMA leaders and office-bearers of other bodies of medical fraternity, addressing a press conference at PMA House here Thursday.

Dr. Mirza Ali Azhar Secretary General PMA Centre, Dr. Qazi M. Wasiq General Secretary PMA Karachi, Dr. M. Ali Thalho President Sindh Doctors Ittehad, Dr. Khair M. Narejo General Secretary PML-Functional Doctors Forum Sindh, Dr. A. Hameed Bandhani of PMLN Doctors Forum, Dr. G. Mujtaba Memon President SDWA, Dr. Nawaz Mallah General Secretary SDW, Dr. Nisar Ali Shah Focal Person PMA Sindh, and Dr. Shahid Qureshi President Sindh Doctors Tehrik addressed the media.

They said the outbreak of measles in Sindh as an epidemic is a matter of a great concern for them as medical professionals and health activists. It is criminal that a preventable disease like measles has taken hundreds of lives of innocent children. The responsibility of this negligence lies with the people who are the so-called managers of health delivery system in Sindh province.

They said according to the UNO report 2012, more than 14587 children were affected from measles in the country during the year out of which 7145 children were affected from the Province of Sindh only. This is almost 50% of the total affected children in the country. These indicators show the bad performance of the Health Department of the Sindh Government.

During the present outbreak of measles 313 children have died in the country out of which 214 innocent children from the Province of Sindh. This large number of death due to measles in Sindh shows that there has been negligence for vaccinating the children during the previous years. It is pity to know that Government of Sindh instead of accepting the responsibility is blame game.

They demanded that the Government should initiate a high level inquiry find out the root causes of this negligence and the responsible should be brought to justice.

They also demanded to make the vaccination program more effective and vaccination should be provided in sufficient quantity to all the basic health units. In case of any emergency like the one mentioned above the health department should have a proper policy and a backup plan to be implemented immediately and save the unnecessary loss of lives.