Health officials suspended for wasting vaccines worth $3.7m

By AFP
Published: March 3, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Authorities have suspended two health officials after $3.7 million worth of vaccines donated by UNICEF to protect children from deadly diseases were wasted, officials said Tuesday.

The pentavalent vaccines, which protect against five diseases with a single shot, spoiled because they were not stored at the proper temperature, officials said.

Read: Pakistan wastes $3.7 million worth of donated vaccine, official says

“An inquiry commission was formed to investigate the case and has suspended two officials for negligence,” Dr Saqlain Ahmad Gilani, the national manager at the Expanded Programme on Immunisation told AFP.

“The vaccines were stored on a higher temperature than required.”

The vaccines worth $3.7 million were donated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), he said.

State minister of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar confirmed the incident and said it would lead to an improvement in vaccine monitoring.

Read: At their peril: Over 450 parents held for refusing polio drops

Tarar said the vaccines were ruined because of “departmental conflicts”.

“It appears that one person was switching off the generator when it was turned on apparently to save fuel,” she said.

She said the inquiry report will be finalised in a week and made public and insisted more than half of the vaccines could still be used.

The pentavalent vaccine does not cover polio.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Mar 3, 2015 - 3:24PM

    They deserve the Jam Tamachi Justice.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 3, 2015 - 3:46PM

    The lady Health Minister should have been sacked.Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Mar 3, 2015 - 5:18PM

    @Parvez:

    What are you talking about ? has such an action ever taken place in the history of this country ? Do we have morality to resign ? that too word is not in our dictionary nor in our culture…all because, we have no accountability from top to bottom, so who cares ? Recommend

  • Saleem
    Mar 3, 2015 - 6:15PM

    Authorities have suspended two health
    officials after $3.7 million worth of
    vaccines donated by UNICEF to protect
    children from deadly diseases were
    wasted, officials said Tuesday.

    Suspension for such a criminal negligence – that is a joke. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 4, 2015 - 12:07AM

    @ishrat salim: AGREE….but no harm in asking for it.Recommend

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