LAHORE, Feb 2: Four more children died of measles while 47 new cases surfaced in the provincial capital on Saturday.

According to reports, Zainab Saghir died at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Khubaib, Anam Rasheed and Zunaira at the Children’s Hospital.

As many as 120 new cases were reported during the last two days in Lahore.

Meanwhile, health department officials have stressed for timely vaccination of children to protect them from the killer disease of the measles.

In a meeting held here on Saturday to review the ongoing campaign against the measles, the officials made it clear that there was no shortage of vaccine in Punjab and parents should take advantage of the availability of a huge stock to protect their children from the measles.

Presided over by special assistant to Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafiq, the meeting was also attended by Health Director-General Dr Nisar Ahmad Cheema, Director Health (EPI) Dr Tanveer Husain, Director Health (Headquarters) Dr Muhammad Jamil Chaudhry and Dr Muhammad Idrees.

Dr Nisar Cheema said injections for the vaccination of measles were available in all government hospitals in districts and health centres and there was no shortage of vaccine anywhere.

He said 0.9 million doses of measles’ vaccine were available in the stock of Health Department and two million more doses of vaccine would reach here by Feb 8.

Rafiq advised parents to ensure the first dose to their children at the age of nine months and the second at the age of 15 months.

DCOs meeting: Chief Secretary Nasir Mahmood Khosa on Saturday convened a meeting of all district coordination officers (DCOs) on Feb 9 to discuss the spread of measles in the province and to review steps adopted for controlling it. He ordered the health department to continue with its efforts to control the disease.

Presiding over a meeting at the Civil Secretariat, the chief secretary reviewed the latest situation regarding the measles disease in the province.

Secretaries of the health and information departments, the director general health, director health (EPI), World Health Organisation representative Dr Wende, Unicef’s Dr Rana Mushtaq, Bill Gates Foundation’s Aslam Chaudhry, Provincial Steering Committee of EPI member Prof Tariq Bhutta and other officers attended the meeting.

The meeting was informed that there was no shortage of measles vaccine in the province. Furthermore, 900,000 dosages of vaccine were available with the stocks of the health department whereas another two million dosages vaccine would reach by Feb 8.

The chief secretary directed that case response and the mop up campaign should be ensured in the area where measles patients were reported.

He ordered to provide the best medical facilities to the measles patients.

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