Govt ordered to combat German measles

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday ordered provincial authorities to make all out and sincere efforts to prevent epidemic ‘rubella’ also known as German measles in the parts of Sujawal and Thatta districts.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar directed secretary health department to submit a detailed and comprehensive report on what measures were taken against spread of rubella virus and other various strains of measles in the province, more particularly in Sujawal and Thatta districts.

The bench gave these directions while hearing a case regarding outbreak of epidemic in Sujawal and Thatta districts. It issued notice to Chief Secretary Sindh, federal secretary health and Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) to file their respective comments in the case.

The two-judge bench also ordered issuance of letters to vice chancellor of Dow University of Health and Sciences and Agha Khan Hospital authorities to depute their experts on epidemic and community medicine to assist this court in passing appropriate orders to alleviate the situation.

A day earlier, SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar had taken notice of reported deaths of 48 children caused by rubella virus in parts of Thatta and Sajawal districts when advocate Zulfikar Ali Langah brought such matter into his knowledge.

Zulfiqar addressed a letter to SHC Chief Justice requesting him to take notice of outbreak of rubella virus due to lack of vaccination for prevention of the disease in the government hospitals. He submitted that that vaccination could prevent diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella, but the people living in the rural areas of the province were more vulnerable to such diseases due to lack of proper medical facilities.

He said that rubella was a contagious respiratory disease which had broken out in the different parts of province due low rate of immunization. He said that poor patients could not be treated because of lack of vaccine in government hospitals and they cannot afford single dose of vaccine, being immunized at private hospitals.

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