Far West kids vulnerable to TB

  • vaccine shortage
- MOHAN SHAHI, DOTI
Far West kids vulnerable to TB

Nov 3, 2014-

Children in the far western districts have been deprived of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine since the past one and a half months, leaving them vulnerable to tuberculosis (TB), said health workers. The vaccine is supposed to be administered to children below the age of one to prevent the disease.

The uncertainty over whether the government will be able to supply the vaccine in the district has threatened the well-being of the children here. “It has been one and a half months since we ran out of the vaccine and we are not even sure when another consignment of the vaccine will arrive,” said Laxmi Shrestha, vaccination section officer at the Regional Medical Store, Dhangadhi, adding that it could take more than a month for the next consignment of the vaccine to arrive in the district.

According to Shrestha, the monthly demand for the vaccine in the far-west figures at around 5,000 vials while the Store is responsible for supplying the vaccine to all nine districts in the regionAlthough there are limited stocks of the vaccines in some districts, the majority of them have run out of the vaccine, resulting in some serious health issues. In case of Doti, the district has been sans the vaccine since the past two months, said vaccination supervisor Ramswartha Yadav.  

According to Dr Shrijana Gauchan at the District Hospital, Doti, the far-west is riled by TB and the lack of vaccines has further aggravated the problem. Gauchan suggested that the government needs to act fast as the matter was of a serious public health problem.

Meanwhile, one Dambar Bhatta of Salepa, Basudevi VDC in Doti, said that he was unable to vaccinate his daughter even after taking her to the District Hospital thrice and vented his ire at the irresponsibility of the concerned authorities and the government.

“Who should be held responsible if my child fall victim to disease such as TB in the future due to lack of the vaccine?” he asked.

Concerns were raised on this serious public health issue at a medical review programme that kicked off at the Regional Health Directorate in Dipayal, Dhangadhi on Saturday. Chiefs of the District Public Health Office of the far western districts who participated in the programme demanded that the government promptly supply the vaccine.

It should be noted that four children had lost their lives after being administered the BCG vaccine due to the negligence on the part of health personnel at Kathamandau VDC in Doti three years ago.

Published: 04-11-2014 09:01

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