The Lahore High Court on Friday issued a notice to the government for a reply and directed the medical superintendents of three public hospitals to appear in court on May21, with the observation that several children had died of measles apparently due to the negligence of the Health Department.
The court further observed that the number of deaths from measles had not decreased despite the government’s claims of having taken precautionary measures.
The court was hearing a petition moved by the Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique seeking a judicial inquiry into measles related deaths to fix responsibility for the failure to control the epidemic.
Siddique said several children had died of measles despite being vaccinated. He said both federal and provincial governments had failed to control the outbreak.
He produced some documents in support of his claim that there had been fake coverage fake vaccination in many areas. Vaccines had been stolen and sold to many private hospitals as well as government vaccination centres, he said.
Siddique said several health officials, including the city health EDO, were involved in selling vaccines to many private hospitals. No action had been taken against them, the counsel said.
He said that substandard vaccines were being administered to children, which was why the deaths from measles had not stopped.
The court summoned the medical superintendents of Jinnah Hospital, Mayo Hospital and Services Hospital to explain the reason for the deaths and the measures taken to stop them.