Death toll from measles in Faisalabad this year reached 55 on Thursday after two children succumbed to the disease.
Five-year-old Hamza Qasim and nine-months-old Ayesha Arshad, both residents of Chak 214-RB, were brought to Allied Hospital and the divisional headquarters hospital, respectively, a few days ago.
Dr Hassan Ali Khan, focal person for the Punjab government’s measles programme, told The Express Tribune that currently, 39 measles patients were under treatment at the two hospitals, including seven in the intensive care unit.
Executive District Officer (Health) Abdur Rauf said the department was trying its best to ensure that no child was left unimmunised in the ongoing anti measles campaign.
He said health workers were visiting houses and giving children injections. He said campaign in charges were monitoring their areas to check the workers’ performance and that no area has been missed.
He complained, however, that some parents were not cooperating with the immunisers. He said they were being counselled about the advantages of the vaccine.
Responding to a question by The Express Tribune, the EDO said weak and undernourished children were more vulnerable to the disease. He said lack of awareness about the disease was another cause of complications.
He said it was discovered that most parents wasted a lot of time in treating the children using home remedies. By the time the children were taken to hospitals, complications had already occurred. He urged the parents to consult a doctor immediately and hospitalise their children if recommended.
Also on Thursday, several protests were reported from some areas of the city where people condemned the government for delay in initiating a vaccination drive.
Some of them said health workers had not visited their areas.
They said most health workers preferred sitting at one place and made announcements using loudspeakers calling parents to bring their children to be vaccinated. Some workers, they said, made announcements from neighbourhood mosques.
Muhammad Riaz, one of the villager said, that due to electricity loadshedding, health workers were not using loudspeakers.
He said some of them sat at the deras of landlords, which were not accessible to everyone.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.
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