Score of hepatitis and diabetic patients staged a protest in front of Govt Allama Iqbal Memorial Teaching Hospital against the prolonged unavailability of anti-hepatitis vaccine and insulin for the last five months in all the government hospitals of the district.

They also staged a sit-in and chanted slogans against apathy of the Health Department. The protesting patients and their heirs chanted anti-government slogans, demanded early provision of anti-hepatitis vaccine and insulin in all government hospitals.

They were of the view that the health department was testing patience of hepatitis and diabetes patients belonging to the district. They revealed that there was no let-up in miseries of the hepatitis and diabetes patients in district as they had been waiting for vaccine and insulin for the last five months.

The Provincial Health Department remained unable to provide direly needed vaccine and insulin and all the government hospitals have run out of stock for the past five months.

The patients including Sakeena Bibi, Maqsooda Bashir, Sughra Bibi, Ikramul Haq, Muhammad Iqbal, Bashir Hussain, Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sadique, Liaqat Maseeh, Noor Muhammad, Nasir Mehmood and Khalid Mehmood told the newsmen that all hepatitis and diabetic patients had been suffering from great ordeal in getting anti-hepatitis medical treatment due to prolonged unavailability of vaccine and insulin in all government DHQ, THQ hospitals, Rural Health Centres (RHCs) and Basic Health Units (BHUs) across the district.

When contacted, Principal Kh Muhammad Safdar Medical College Sialkot r Zafar Ali Chaudhry informed that anti-hepatitis vaccine was not available in the district’s all government hospitals for the last five consecutive months, while the insulin for diabetic patients was not available for the last two months.

He said that he had written to the Provincial Director General Health, bringing the situation in his notice.

On the other hand, local social and religious circles have expressed grave concern over the situation and said that this situation was getting worst day by day, as the every passing day was adding into the miseries of the hepatitis and diabetes patients.

The affected patients, their heirs and general public have also expressed wonder that it was amazing to point out that the top officials of the Punjab Health Department including  Khawaja Salman Rafiq (Advisor to Punjab CM for Health ), Jawad Rafiq (Provincial Secretary Health Punjab) and Director General Health Punjab, had allegedly bothered to visit the Sialkot to curb the menace of the prolonged shortage and non-availability of hepatitis vaccine and insulin for local patients for the last five consecutive months.