LAHORE - Two more measles patients breathed their last at different hospitals in the province on Saturday, taking the death toll till today to 146 including 80 in Lahore.

Muhammad Talha, eight months, lost his life at Children’s Hospital Lahore while Zainab, 2, died at Allied Hospital Faisalabad.  As many as 201 measles patients were admitted to different hospitals in the province including 40 in Lahore. So far 16620 measles cases have been reported from across the province including 4980 in Lahore.

Essential drugs have gone missing even from the emergency and measles ward, causing huge inconvenience to the attendants of patients who have to go out in scorching heat to purchase even low cost drugs that ultimately cause inordinate delay in the start of treatment.

With the measles reaching alarming proportions in the province, most of the cash strapped hospitals are not providing necessary medicines like I/V line, Inj Kalaricid, cough syrup, Vit A and Nilstat drops. There is an acute shortage of necessary medicines at the measles section of Jinnah Hospital, said YDA spokesman Dr Khurram Shahzad.

At the Mayo Hospital, doctors said that about two dozens of necessary drugs and disposables were not available and patients at emergency and measles ward were asked to purchase these items from the market. Ringer lactate, Normal Saline, Dripsets, ECG chest electrodes, Syringes 5cc, 10cc, 20cc, surgical gloves, Inj Atracurium, Inj Lopressor, Inj Vepressor, Inj Avil, Inj Xylocaine, Lignocaine gel, Vicryl 1/0, Vicryl 2/0, Vicryl 3/0, Prolene 4/0, Endotracheal tube no 7, Silk 1/0, Inj Dormicum, Liga clips for lap chole, Glucometer strips and Hemecel are not available at Mayo Hospital.

“Absence of necessary drugs is delaying treatment due to the time consumed in bringing them from outside. Sometime this delay can prove fatal for patients”, said a doctor at Mayo Hospital.