LAHORE – Acute shortage of anti-tetanus injection, a life saving vaccine, at public sector hospitals and in the market is posing threat of Tetanus outbreak, a lethal disease having over 95 per cent mortality rate, say senior doctors.

Tetanus, an infectious, often fatal disease, is caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds and characterised by respiratory paralysis and tonic spasms and rigidity of the voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and lower jaw.

The injection, necessary for those sustaining injuries during accidents, is not in the market for over three months as the firm Amson, importing this necessary medicine is reportedly not fulfilling its responsibility.

With the crises like situation looming due to absence of a vaccine that avert falling injured victim to almost incurable condition, the World Health Organisation has yet to respond to the repeated requests from public sector hospitals and as such putting life of injured patients at high risk. “Yes, there is acute shortage of anti-tetanus injections for the last over three months. We are managing the situation at Jinnah Hospital by getting donations from the philanthropists and procuring anti-tetanus injections from a dealer. I have written a letter to the WHO about the prevailing situation but without any response till today. It is unfortunate that even world bodies are not paying any attention to avert crises like situation. Amson is importing this injection. I am contacting its director on daily basis but there are no signs of availability of this essential medicine at public sector hospitals and in the market. If the situation persists, there are dangers of Tetanus outbreak in the country”, said Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Javed Akram, adding, the situation would be really alarming as mortality rate of this disease is really high.

There was no proper treatment of this fatal disease. Only vaccination could save injured from falling victims to Tetanus but the required medication was not readily available, he added.

“Acute shortage of tetanus injection has created alarming situation. We are not getting it readily from the pharmacies in the City. The stores having some stock are selling it at much higher price”, said Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians President Dr Tariq Mian, adding the prevailing situation had put lives of those sustaining injuries in road accidents or getting wounds from sharp weapons at his risk.