Life saving drugs shortage hits child patients

KARACHI:,,, There is acute shortage of life saving vaccines for children in Sindh, including Karachi, due to unavailability of cold storage facilities, it was learnt through reliable sources on Tuesday.

The Civil Aviation authorities have failed to establish alternate cold-storage facility at Karachi airport after recent attack, while on other hand, the importers had stopped the importing protective vaccines for children. There are acute shortage of vaccines like pneumonia, measles, typhoid, chicken pox and polio disease in Karachi city and other parts of Sindh province. The shortage of vaccines in local markets has put thousands children lives at stake.

The cold-storage facility of Karachi airport was completely destroyed due to fire in terrorist attack carried about three weeks ago and now there was no cold-storage facility at Karachi airport to store medicines to maintain their quality.

President Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPA) Prof Iqbal Memon confirmed the shortage of protective vaccine for children in local markets and said importers had also stopped the importing the vaccines, and other medicines due non-availability of cold storage facility at Karachi airport.

He said there were acute shortage of vaccines for disease like chicken pox, measles, typhoid, pneumonia and polio in local markets. He said vaccination of infants was necessary to prevent diseases. He said vaccination courses of children were also halted due to shortage of vaccines in market, who were already administrated vaccine. He said no alternate arrangements had been made so far for cold storage of medicines by the authorities concern.

Prof Memon said many importers had stopped importing the life saving medicines after Karachi airport tragedy. He said it was necessary to store protective vaccine in 2 to 8 degree temperature to maintain its productivity, while the cold-storage of Karachi airport closed down since attack of terrorists on airport.

He demanded of the government to establish cold storage facility at Karachi airport on emergency basis to save the lives of children thus the importers would import protective vaccines and other life saving medicines.

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