LAHORE, June 15: A 13-day old baby died reportedly after she was administered polio drops in Naseerabad on Wednesday.
The incident took place in Naseerabad near Daroghawala when baby’s father Abdul Khalid and other relatives raised an alarm shortly after her death and complained about the matter to the health department for a thorough probe.
The health department has launched a three-day polio campaign in the high-risk cities of the province -- Lahore, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rawalpindi and Dera Ghazi Khan.
Wednesday was the last day of the drive and hundreds of teams of the health department administered polio drops to children in the provincial capital.
Lahore Executive District Officer (Health) Dr Umer Farooq Baloch suspended the four-member team which administered polio drops to the baby. The health department, however, rejected the impression about the baby’s death due to polio vaccination, saying no such example exists anywhere in the world.
“The polio vaccination is an oral treatment in the form of liquid which remains in the bowels while the other medicine is administered through the veins or stomach to be mixed in blood,” said Punjab Health Director-General Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam. He said it was a WHO-approved vaccination with no side effect.
He said the premature baby was underweight (1.8kg) with poor physical health and declared her death natural.
The DG health said the health team administered vaccination to 17 children, including three children of Abdul Khaliq’s relatives, from the same vial which was used in the case of the baby of the complainant. “Each vial contains at least 17 to 20 doses. The death of a baby due to the polio vaccination is out of question,” he said.
Chaudhry Aslam said ‘misinformation’ about the baby’s death due to polio drops may create a panic and deprive hundreds of children of the vaccination launched to eradicate polio from the country.He said the parents should get their children vaccinated with full trust and confidence in the campaign. He said the health team was suspended for not handling the situation.
The DG health said the parents of the baby had been convinced by an inquiry committee comprising the health EDO, DHO and other senior officials that their baby died of natural causes.