Measles outbreak claims 11 lives in Pattoki

Protests erupt as health department faces scrutiny

Sajid Hanjra June 17, 2024
The Sindh health department is recruiting 4,000 doctors to be posted in rural Sindh for three years to benefit residents of remote areas of the province. PHOTO: FILE


The measles outbreak in Thatta Kamiana, a suburb of Sarai Mughal in Tehsil Pattoki, has claimed the lives of 11 children, sparking outrage and resulting in the suspension of local health officials.

Residents of Thatta Kamiana have staged protest demonstrations after several families lost multiple children to the disease.

Tariq, a local resident, lost his two children, 5-year-old Ahmed and 3-year-old Ayesha. Imam also lost two children, 15-year-old Shehzadi Bibi and 1-year-old Zubaida Bibi. Similarly, Nazir Ahmed's family is grieving the deaths of 2-year-old Shazia Bibi and 5-month-old Muhammad Irfan.

In response to the growing number of deaths, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif took immediate notice and directed the provision of necessary medical facilities for the affected children in Thatta Kamiana.

The Kasur Health Department transferred the sick children to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Pattoki, where they were visited by Punjab health minister and secretary.

Despite this intervention, the situation deteriorated, and three more children succumbed to the disease after being sent home from the hospital.

Distraught parents and local residents protested against the Chief Health Officer (CO) of Kasur, accusing the health department teams of merely engaging in photo sessions instead of providing effective treatment.

"Our children were transferred to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Pattoki, but they were expelled by the staff and not given proper treatment for measles," said one of the aggrieved parents.

In light of the severe public outcry and the ongoing crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif ordered disciplinary action. Secretary Health suspended District Health Officer (DHO) Kasur Dr Farooq Haider and Deputy District Health Officer (DDHO) Pattoki Dr Bilal Sabir for their failure to ensure adequate medical care for the affected children.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ