KARACHI – Pakistan Medical Association has warned the government that the measles is turning into an epidemic that may cause huge fatality in Sindh. A preventable disease like measles has taken hundreds of lives of innocent children. The disease that has devoured more than 200 children in the interior is moving towards urban areas of the province. According to the UNO report 2012, more than 14,587 children were affected from measles in the country during the year out of which 7145 children were affected from Sindh only. The Sindh Health Department has failed to control over the fatality of the disease.These views were expressed by Secretary General PMA Centre Dr Mirza Ali Azhar and General Secretary PMA Karachi Dr Qazi Wasiq, while speaking at press conference, held at the PMA House here on Thursday. Focal Person PMA Sindh Dr Nisar Ali Shah was also present on the occasion. Dr Mirza Ali Azhar said that the outbreak of measles in the Sindh as an epidemic was of a great concern for all of us. He said it was criminal to say the least that a preventable disease like measles has taken hundreds of lives of innocent children. The responsibility of this negligence lies with the people who are the so-called managers of health delivery system of the province. Criticizing the vaccine programme, General Secretary PMA Karachi, Dr Qazi Wasiq said that ineffective measles vaccine programme was the main reason behind the spread of disease and deaths. The spread of common disease in the interior have forced to suspect over the efficacy of the vaccines, he said.“The government has completely failed to protect the lives of innocent people of the province from the fatality; there is only blame game. Our health department needs to have preventive health policy, but unfortunately we have curative health policy, which is matter of concern for us. In Sindh children are not dying due to measles they are dying because of the disease complications,” Dr Wasiq said.    Criticising the performance of the government, Dr Mirza Ali Azhar said that these indicators show the bad performance of the Sindh Health Department. “During the present outbreak of measles 313 children have died in the country out of which 214 innocent children from the Province of Sindh. This large number of death due to measles in Sindh shows that there has been negligence for vaccinating the children during the previous years. It is pity to know that Government of Sindh instead of accepting the responsibility is blame game,” said Dr Mirza.PMA demand that the government should initiate a high level inquiry find out the root causes of this negligence and the responsible should be brought to justice, he said. “PMA also demand to make the vaccination program more effective and vaccination should be provided in sufficient quantity to all the basic health units. In case of any emergency like the one mentioned above the health department should have a proper policy and a backup plan to be implemented immediately and save the unnecessary loss of lives,” he said. SINDH GOVERNOR CONCERNED OVER MEASLES OUTBREAKS: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan expressing concern over measles outbreaks in various districts of Sindh province, has emphasized on immediate effective steps to contain the disease. Presiding over a high level meeting at Governor House review the steps of controlling measles, he expressed dissatisfaction on the performance of EPI about routine vaccination. He asked for district-wise sampling all over the provinces to found the actual causes of the disease. He said this disease may cause T.B and other diseases. He said joint efforts are needed to remove its causes including acute malnutrition in children of rural areas in Sindh. Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed informed about the steps being taken by his department to contain measles. The meeting was informed that last year different districts of  the province reported cases of measles; however, the diseases increased in the month of December mainly in Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Larkana, and Kambar-Shahdadkot districts. In the year 2012, measles coverage rate was 81 percent. Measles causes deaths due to secondary infections of pneumonia and diarrhea. According to WHO in the year 2012, 7274 measles cases were reported which resulted in 1212. In the month of December 2012, as many as 1879 cases and 93 deaths were reported. However, Sindh health department reported that in December 2012, 2125 cases of measles were reported in Sindh causing 100 deaths. To control the disease, a crash program has already been starting in sensitive areas in which measles vaccine is being given to children up to 10 years of age. Next vaccine will be given in February 2012. As many as 2329812 children were vaccine up to January 7, 2012.