MULTAN-Dozens of hepatitis patients registered with the health department staged a demonstration against non-availability of hepatitis vaccine at Nishtar and Civil hospitals here at Chowk Nawan Shehr. The protesters shouted slogans against the Punjab government and staged a sit-in at the chowk. They were also holding placards and banners inscribed with their demand regarding immediate supply of hepatitis vaccine.

The criminal negligence of Health Department Punjab has put the lives of over 700 hepatitis C patients registered at Nishtar Hospital in jeopardy as the supply of injections used for the treatment of this deadly disease to this hospital is suspended since long. The hospital administration claims that several reminders have been sent to the Health Department, but to no avail.

Because of non-availability of vaccine, the disease is fast heading towards incurable position in many patients. Nishtar sources revealed that the condition of at least 300 out of 700 patients was fast deteriorating because of non-availability of vaccine.

The patients registered with the free Hepatitis treatment programme complained that the vaccine for the treatment of Hepatitis C was not available at Nishtar Hospital for the last several months as a result of which their lives were under threat. “We’ve got tired of paying futile visits to the Nishtar Hospital. Every time we come to the hospital, they tell us to come again as the injections are not received so far,” patients lamented.

On the other hand, the Nishtar Hospital sources said that the hospital had already sent a demand to the provincial health department for the supply of vaccine for 1,500 patients. Sources added that a reminder had also been sent to the department. “Whenever we send a reminder, we receive the same reply from the health department that the sample test of the medicines is currently underway and the vaccine will be available as soon as the analysis report is received,” sources disclosed.