I TOOK my father and my three-year-old child to the Taluka Hospital, Khair Muhammad Arija, on July 13; the former for receiving the second dose of Covid vaccine, and the latter for a check-up as he was suffering from flu, fever and loss of appetite. The hospital staff at the OPD refused to issue the registration slip, saying patients would not be treated if those accompanying them were not vaccinated. There was no exception even for a three-year-old.

I approached the doctor on duty, who politely told me the same. When I informed the doctor about my scheduled vaccination, he advised me to see the medical superintendent (MS) to get the issue resolved. Even after I showed proof of my vaccination due date of July 30, the MS asked me to get vaccinated “or your child goes unattended”.

After a long and somewhat heated argument, the MS eventually asked the staff to attend the child without making an entry into the register “to avoid the headache”. This offensive comment was obviously about me.

The insistence by the MS on the matter of vaccination was surprising as one could see majority of the hospital staff going about their work without wearing masks, including those in the vaccination room itself. To make things worse, the vaccinator was not even wearing gloves.

After the vaccine had been administered to my father, he was provided with neither a cotton swab nor an anti-septic bandage. As a result, a few drops of blood stained my father’s shirt.

Complaints of misbehaviour by those at the helm are reported in the media, but they fell on deaf ears. Will the authorities concerned take action in this case against the official concerned for his misbehaviour and for violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the hospital?

Nazeer Ahmed Arijo

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2021


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