TB vaccine unavailability in Pakistan putting children at risk

Islamabad, Feb 11 (IANS) Pakistan’s Punjab province has not been able to acquire tuberculosis (TB) vaccine for two months as a result of which children may be more vulnerable to the disease, the media reported on Thursday.

In a letter sent by the provincial government on Wednesday to the National Health Services (NHS) said that Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) syringes needed for their treatment had not been supplied by the federal Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) for at least a year now, Dawn online reported.

NHS Secretary Ayub Sheikh said the syringes, which were only recently purchased, would be sent to the provinces within a week and were currently being tested in the laboratory to check their quality. However, he denied that there was a shortage of the BCG vaccine.

The BCG vaccine is primarily used to combat tuberculosis. In countries where tuberculosis is common, one dose is recommended for babies, as close to birth as possible.

“This has led to stock out position in the province. The higher authorities have taken strict notice of the current situation because it will make the target children vulnerable to tuberculosis,” the letter said.

An official from the NHS ministry said there was severe shortage of the vaccine in the hospitals across Punjab.

“Every month, around 600,000 vaccines are provided. In case of any further delay, children will become vulnerable to the disease. Other provinces are also facing a similar situation so the ministry should take immediate steps to address the issue,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here