Vaccine shortage: Three children die of respiratory disease

13 more cases of diphtheria reported from same village.

Zulfiqar Ali November 04, 2012


Three children in Frontier Region (FR) DI Khan were killed by diphtheria, a disease that attacks the respiratory tract.

The children were aged nine, six and three and were being treated in FR DI Khan Civil Hospital. All patients were residents of Perwana village, where more cases of the disease were reported.

Dr Umar Jan Shiranee told The Express Tribune that 13 other children had also been affected by the disease and sent to DI Khan District Headquarters Hospital as treatment facilities were better there.

Dr Umar Shiranee said that symptoms of diphtheria start in the throat with patients having a cough, fever and swollen throat. In more severe cases, patients also cough blood.

The contagious disease can kill patients within two to eight weeks. “Children infected often die within the first two weeks,” said Dr Umar.

He said that a team had been sent on Saturday to Perawana to vaccinate more children. A total of 50 children had been vaccinated in the drive and more vaccinations are expected to be sent soon as there is currently a shortage.

“We asked the office of the agency surgeon to send us more vaccines so we can immunise all the children of the area,” he added. Another team is expected to be sent to the village today (Sunday).

Haroon Khan Shiranee, a resident of FR DI Khan, said that residents fear that other children may get infected and are keeping them inside their homes. “Most of the children in this area were not vaccinated properly and now we are suffering because of this,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2012.


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