KARACHI – Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah expressing his ire for deaths of over 210 children in outbreak of measles in the province has held responsible to the health department’s officials and directed of taking stern action against them. Chairing a high level meeting to take effective measures against measles at the CM secretariat on Wednesday, the chief executive of the province said that the outbreak of measles disease was due to improper health cover, negligence and irresponsibility of officers, doctors and staff of health department, vowing that prompt action will be taken against those negligent and careless officers/officials. He strictly directed to make adequate efforts and prompt measures to control the situation so as to stop further spread of disease. The meeting was attended by Dr Azra Pechuho MNA, Sindh Minister for Health Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Secretary Health Sindh Aftab Ahmed Khatri, Principal Secretary to CM Sindh Muhammad Siddique Memon, Special Secretary Health Dr Suresh Kumar, Director General Health Services Sindh Dr Feroz Memon, Project Director EPI Mazhar Khamisani and others.Qaim said that present elected government had made emphasis to provide quality education and healthcare to the poor and deprived people and many schemes have been completed and some of them are nearer to completion. He directed the officers of health department to pay full attention to combat the situation and task of vaccination and treatment of affected children be completed within 10 days upto January 12, 2013 while no child is left, unattended. He further directed that everyone in the health department should be in the field and proper monitoring be conducted with prompt vaccination. He said that the performance of DHO’s and vaccinators will be checked and action will be taken against careless, negligent and lethargic doctors and staff.MNA Dr Azra Pechuho said that the disease of measles with causes be controlled effectively. She stressed that role of PPHI must be revised as majority of BHUs come under them. She further visualised that differences of assignments be settled and a new MoU could be signed. Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed highlighted the efforts of his department and said that he had taken action against the negligent officers and staff. Provincial Health Secretary Aftab Ahmed Khatri and Director General Health Services Sindh Dr Feroze Memon in detailed report informed that measles cases are reported throughout the year in all over Sindh, but in December 2012 the cases had increased particularly in district of Ghotki, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Kashmore, Khairpur, Larkana, Shikarpur and Qambar. The meeting was informed that measles is not a fatal disease but the children die due to post-measles complication-such as pneumonia, diarrhea and poor nutritional status. It was also informed that due to non-technical and non-professional health managers at district level and poor cold chain management of vaccine were the causes of rapidly increasing disease of measles. Refreshing to report of details of World Health Organisation, the meeting was informed that there were total 7274-cases of Measles in the year 2012, and the total deaths during the year 2012 is 210. It was stated that during the month of December 2012, there were total 1879 cases and total deaths in the month of December 2012 is 93. It was informed that there were total cases of 1650 in the year 2011 and total deaths in 2011 are 28. According to details of cases reported by Health department, during the December 2012 outbreak, 2125 cases were reported in December 2012 and 100- deaths have been reported in December 2012. The meeting was also informed that the Lab samples of deaths have been sent to Islamabad but the confirmation of report is awaited whether the deaths occurred due to Measles or some other disease such as pneumonia, diarrhea etc. The meeting was informed that Health department has taken efforts and crash programme has been initiated immediately in affected and high risk areas.To cover 3 million target population of children from age of 9 months and 10 years, measles catch up campaign has been started in eight districts. The meeting was informed that Minister Health, Secretary Health, DG Health and other officers of Provincial Health Department are personality monitoring the campaign, while health awareness programme has been activated in the affected districts. It was informed that Provincial control room has been established at DG Health office so as to monitor the campaign activities while control rooms have also been established at District level. The meeting was informed that 105813 – Childs have been covered upto December 31, 2012 and on January 1, 2012, 212726 children have been covered while, the coverage in two days is 318539 children.