Over 50 students hospitalised in Swat after getting vaccine

May 25, 2014


Two students undergo treatment at a hospital in Swat after getting anti-measles vaccine. — Dawn
Two students undergo treatment at a hospital in Swat after getting anti-measles vaccine. — Dawn

MINGORA: Over 50 schoolchildren were hospitalised in Mingora city on Saturday shortly after being vaccinated against measles.

However, their condition is stable, according to the doctors.

As part of the ongoing anti-measles campaign in the district, a health team gave injections to more than 50 students of a private school in Rang Mohallah.

Shortly thereafter, 56 schoolchildren complained of high fever and were shifted to the Saidu Sharif Hospital, where they were given treatment.

Doctors said children feared injection and therefore, they suffered from intense psychological pressure after they were given anti-measles injections.

Doctors declare children’s condition stable; admin says injections of good quality

Deputy medical superintendent of the Saidu Sharif Hospital Dr Iftikhar said anti-measles injections caused fever among some children and that was not unexpected.

He said schoolchildren were stable.

Assistant commissioner of Swat Ashfaq Khan said injections given to students were found to be genuine and of good quality during examination.

“We are in contact with health officials to know what led to the students’ hospitalisation,” he said.

The assistant commissioner said strict action would be taken if negligence of the relevant officials was found to be the reason for the incident.

Deputy director of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation Dr Janbaz Afridi said the anti-measles injections being given to children in the province as part of the ongoing campaign, were duly approved by the World Health Organisation, safe and had no reaction.

He, however, said five-10 per cent children could run temperature within 24 hours of being given such injections.

Dr Afridi said the campaign had so far covered 5.4 million children under the age of 10 years in the province but only some in Hangu, Kohat and Swat complained of temperature.

He said 9.6 million children were being targeted during the campaign.

The EPI official said the people shouldn’t be terrified as the vaccination was meant to protect children against measles, which had affected 10,000 people in the province in 2013 and 4,000 until now this year.

He said 70 per cent of the reported measles cases happened to be positive and often proved deadly.

Khalid Khan, a local resident, said his nephew had run temperature after being given anti-measles injection.

He said doctors had declared his nephew’s condition out of danger and that he was waiting outside the ward to see him.

Inayatur Rehman, another Rang Mohallah resident, said the incident occurred as the health team gave injections to children simultaneously without realising they could cause reaction.

He said he thought vaccinators should give anti-measles injection to one child and then wait to know if the vaccine causes reaction

The relevant health officials said the campaign had completed first phase and would enter next phase on tomorrow (Monday).

They said the campaign had drawn encouraging response in all districts of the province because the people knew about measles and the danger it caused to human life.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2014