FAISALABAD - Due to chickenpox epidemic, the death toll has risen to 18 as an elderly patient lost her life at Allied Hospital here on Thursday.

Mishal Bibi, 50, a residential of Jaranwala, had been shifted to Allied Hospital some five days earlier. During last year, some 25 patients of chickenpox were admitted to Allied Hospital out of which one patient had died.

However, during the current year, more than 336 patients were bought to Allied Hospital and Civil Hospital. Earlier, Madiha, 18, of Sargodha affected from the same disease had lost her life at Allied Hospital. Some 336 patients are under treatment at both the hospitals in Faisalabad.

ISSUE OF CHICKENPOX VACCINATION

The Health Department has failed to launch vaccination campaign to control chickenpox. District and divisional administrations are also not showing interest in launching the campaign. Resultantly, the number of patients is increasing to alarming level.

A total of 338 cases of chickenpox were reported at government hospitals; 24 patients belong to Jaranwala, 33 to Chak Jhumra, 36 to tehsil Sadar, 6 to Tandlianwala tehsil, 32 Samundari tehsil and 231 to Faisalabad city.

Sources said that chickenpox affected the whole province. They pointed out that three patients from Sargodha were reported out of which two died. Patients from Nankana Sahab, and even from provincial capital Lahore were reported but the government and the local administration were busy keeping all the matters secret. The sources said that majority of the chickenpox patients is residents of Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Bhakkar, Chiniot, Azad Kasmir, Nankana Sahab and other areas but there is no proper medical facility in these areas. Thus, the patients were referred to Allied Hospital in critical condition. The lack of facilities and the negligence of Health Department are the cause behind the outbreak of the disease. Many of the affected families are complaining against the poor medical facilities. Nevertheless, the issue of vaccination campaign to control chickenpox epidemic was not seen practically in Faisalabad city, district and divisional areas.

Health Department only organised an awareness walk and a seminar in this regard and showed that they had performed their duties. A source also confirmed that administration and hospital high ups were directed not to disclose all the facts about the epidemic before the media. On the other side, Health Department claimed to launch chickenpox vaccination campaign but they do not have funds for the vaccination campaign.

The shortage of chickenpox vaccination still exists and health department among administration officials are just busy raising fake claims and slogans. The Health Department was completely failed to launch proper vaccination and awareness campaign in Faisalabad and its surroundings. All the administration officials and concerns were not bothering about the worst situation and even when the death toll has reached to 18 lives.

Nowadays, the government officials are busy launching propaganda campaign for upcoming holy month Ramadan that they were ready to curb profiteers but ground realities disclose that epidemic of chicken pox had not awaken the district and divisional administration of Faisalabad as a result the department was enjoying its tradition of recklessness. It was also learnt that a large number of chickenpox patients were also visiting private hospitals and their figure was not reported.

Vaccination campaign seems to be a dream for the citizens of Faisalabad thus the helpless people are getting affected to the disease and losing their lives. But there is no one to help them as only official drama is launched to curb chickenpox but nothing done practically.