Thousands of newborn babies and their parents have been suffering from great ordeal due to month-long prevailing shortage of life-saving BCG (bacille Calmette-Guerin) vaccine that protects the babies against tuberculosis, across the district.

As per details, thousands of newborns have been denied routine immunization coverage due to the acute shortage of BCG vaccine in all the government DHQ, THQ hospitals, Basic health units (BHUs), Rural Health Centres (RHCs) and health dispensaries for the last one month in district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils.

This situation is going from bad to worse in the district, as the Federal Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) did not provide the BCG vaccine to the provinces for the month of February, 2015. It is for the first time that the thousands of kids could not be administered BCG vaccine on birth in the month of Feb, 2015 in the district.

According to health experts, the BCG vaccine is mandatory for every newborn for being integral part of the routine EPI programme. This vaccine is on the World Health Organization`s list of essential medicines being the most important medication needed in a basic health system.

Sialkot District Health Office (DHO) Dr Javaid Warraich confirmed that the district was confronted with acute shortage of BCG vaccine, adding that the department, however, was striving hard to arrange the vaccine from those districts where old stock was available.

He said that the health department was in contact with the federal authorities to ensure uninterrupted supply of BCG vaccine to protect the newborn against the fatal disease.

RAPIST SENTENCED: Additional District and Sessions Judge Shaukat Kamal awarded three years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs20,000 to an accused Khalid Mehmood for raping a six-year-old girl in village Dugri Arayiaan-Head Marala here one year ago.

THREE HELD WITH WINE: The Bambaanwala Police raided a den in village Kot Jandu and arrested three accused Naveed, Zafar Iqbal and Sajid while preparing wine. Daska DSP Eng Rana Zahid Hussain informed that the police also unearthed four working distilleries besides seizing 80 litres of wine from the possession of the accused. The police have registered separate cases against them.