Four children admitted to hospital with measles
ISLAMABAD, May 20: Four confirmed and 52 suspected measles cases have been reported from different parts of the capital city, Dawn learnt on Sunday.
Though measles virus has already hit different parts of the country, the sudden emergence of such a large number of cases in the federal capital has perturbed the government as it had conducted a vaccination drive only last year, said a source. “As many as 52 suspected measles cases have been reported in the city within a span of 48 hours,” an official of the inter-provincial coordination ministry told Dawn requesting not to be named.
He said the affected localities were in the rural parts of the capital like Bari Imam and Budwala village.
“Four children in a same neighbourhood were confirmed positive for measles disease and they have been admitted to CDA Hospital,” said a physician in the hospital. The children were living close to Bari Imam. “For the last about three years, the city had not recorded any major confirmed case of measles; however, these cases have emerged during the last two days,” said the physician.
The hospital record seen by this reporter confirmed that the four children were suffering from measles and admitted to the paediatrics ward.
They were identified as Asmat Yar, 10; Hina, 5; Sereena, 6, and Urooj, 2. The physician said an increasing number of measles cases in the rural areas and in a few instances in urban areas was indicative of a weak vaccination drive.
A spokesman for Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) said they were giving routine vaccine to children visiting the outpatient department (OPD). However, he added, launching a vaccination drive was the responsibility of the capital territory administration and the CDA. He said measles viral attack also increased the chances of other diseases among children like fever, diarrhoea and malnutrition.
When contacted, media official of the IPC division, Pir Rashidi, said the federal EPI cell was only providing technical assistance to provinces.
He said Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mir Hazar Khan Bajarani had already directed the chief commissioner Islamabad and the CDA to take remedial measures to contain the virus.
When an ICT administration official was contacted, he said: “I am not aware of any measles case but will send an assistant commissioner to have an update from the CDA Hospital.”
Despite repeated attempts, Chairman CDA Farkhand Iqbal could not be contacted for comments.