OUR STAFF REPORTER DASKA - The Civil Hospital Daska, recently upgraded to DHQ level, is still facing the prolonged problems including the non-availability of gynaecologist, male medical officers, X-ray films, radiologist and ambulance, due to which the indoor and outdoor patients have been suffering from great ordeal, TheNation learnt here Thursday. It is reported that there has been no gynaecologist in the DHQ level hospital for the last 11 months, as the already approved three posts of female gynaecologists have been lying vacant. The old and senior trained nurses are checking the pregnant women and often refer the patients of serious cases to Gujranwala or Sialkot DHQ Hospitals for further medical treatment. Four posts of the male medical officer have also been lying vacant since long, as no appointment has yet been made on these posts. It is also reported that there were no X-ray films in this DHQ Hospital for the last several months, while the only radiologist has also gone on three-month leave. There was no proper sitting arrangement in all the wards of the hospital for the visiting outdoor patients and their attendants. Daska DHQ Hospital has two ambulances out of which one has been lying out of order for the last several years due to the paucity of funds. The second ambulance though is in working condition, but it lacks the basic medical facilities. When contacted, Daska DHQ Civil Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Sajjad Nabi Sayyan said that the higher officials of the provincial Health Department have been informed about the situation several times, but no gynaecologist has yet been deputed, while there is dire need of three gynaecologists. He said that an NGO had donated the X-ray films but in short number. He admitted that X-ray films worth Rs1 million were required for the growing number of the patients at the hospital. On the other hand, the Daska citys only government EPI vaccination centre is also in miserable condition despite the repeated appeals made by the local social and political circles to the officials concerned. The locals were of the view that the officials concerned of Daska Health Department and Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) had allegedly shut their eyes to the matter. The Daska TMA and Health Department were jointly running this centre, which had been established about a decade ago in Daska under the Expended Programme of Immunisation (EPI). Earlier, the staff of this polio and EPI vaccination centre had been working there in a one-room building near the Water Tanki on Kutchery Road near the TMA offices in Daska city, as this location was the most convenient for the people. Later, the TMA shifted this polio and EPI vaccination centre to another small-size room near the second Water Tanki on College Road. Due to which, the people have to travel an extra distance to reach there for vaccination. The EPI vaccination centre was surrounded by the opened and clogged drain nullahs from the four sides, as the knee-deep stagnant drainage and rainwater around the centre is creating sever health hazards, especially spreading dengue fever as well. Ironically, the Daska TMA had already dumped its unnecessary stuff including the old bicycles, heaps of old newspapers and wooden library stands etc in the centre. As it is the only polio and EPI vaccination facility by the government in Daska city, the dozens of people visit the centre for getting the minors vaccinated for protection against polio and other fatal diseases, while dozens of pregnant women also visit it for getting preventive vaccination. The people complained that the environment inside the EPI centre was totally unhygienic and badly suffocated due to the rising ill smell there. They said that there was no concept of cleanliness in the centre, which also lacked the basic facilities for medication and vaccinating for the pregnant women. The one-roomed EPI vaccination centre is in shambles, rickety door, black walls, floor and roof and the broken wooden furniture speak the volume of alleged height of negligence of the officials concerned of Daska TMA and Health Department. Sialkot DCO Mujahid Sher Dil, EDO (Health) Dr Syed Talat Iqbal, DDO (Health) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and TMA officials concerned had never bothered to visit the centre for redressing the public grievances. Meanwhile, Daska Bar Association President Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Markazi Anjuman Tajran President Sheikh Abid Hussain, Thinkers Forum President Muhammad Jamil Sethi, Patients Welfare Association District President Zafar Malik and Sialkot Press Club Senior Vice-Chairman Abid Hussain Mehdi have expressed grave concern over this nasty situation. They said that the entire government machinery was busy there in curbing the menace of dengue fever by spending millions of rupees, but were not paying attention to the EPI vaccination centre. They revealed that the said centre was meant for preventing the people through vaccination from the fatal diseases, but it was rapidly becoming a nursery of diseases due to the alleged slackness of the TMA and Health Department. They have urged the Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Gujranwala Division Commissioner Saeed Wahla and Sialkot DCO Mujahid Sher Dil to look into the matter in the larger public interest.