HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
DIPAYAL: The Doti District Public Health Office today said primary investigations pointed at measles vaccines for the deaths of four infants in Kadamandau of Doti.
Four infants between nine and 14 months had died in the remote village in Doti 24 hours after inoculation with measles and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) vaccines on Sunday. The two other infants who were also vaccinated on the same day at Deukanda vaccine centre at Kadamandau are undergoing treatment at Doti District Hospital.
Mahendra Dhwoj Adhikary of Doti DPHO said the infants who were administered with other than measles vaccines have not developed any life-threatening signs.
Dr Phanindra Baral at Doti hospital said they could, at this point of time, only surmise that there was something wrong with the vaccines. Few hours after the vaccination, the infants had started vomiting profusely and developed a deathly pallor.
The vaccines that were administered to infants were not expired though, said DPHO, adding that the vials of measles vaccines had labels showing expiry date of September 2013. The vaccines were brought to the hospital from Dhangadhi 10 days ago.
Adhikary said with the deaths of four infants, he is in a dilemma whether to continue the vaccination campaign.
Hira Damai’s 14-month-old son Milan, Suntali Nepali’s one-year-old daughter Sujata, Indari Chiral’s nine-month-old Gauri and Pasupati BK’s 10-month-old Manju had died after vaccination. Health worker Amrita Bogati had administered measles vaccines to the infants.
Condition of those undergoing treatment is improving.
Kadamandau locals today staged a sit-in in front of the hospital demanding a thorough investigation and punishment to the guilty. Doti-based human rights organisations also demanded that a probe be launched immediately.
Experts to submit report by Sunday
KATHMANDU: Child Health Division under the Ministry of Health and Population has formed a committee to investigate into the deaths of four infants in Kadamandau of Doti. CHD Director Dr Taranath Pokhrel said a team will reach Doti by Thursday to find out what went wrong. “An emergency meeting of adverse events following immunisation monitoring committee was held today and it has decided to send a team to Doti,” said Dr Pokhrel. “The team comprising representatives from CHD and World Health Organisation and two child specialists will submit its final report by Sunday.”