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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Child died in desperation of rabies vaccines in mother’s lap

The shortage of life-saving anti-rabies vaccines claimed the life of a minor in Sindh, exposes mass irregularities in the Sindh health department when a mother lost a child in front of Commissioner's office.

Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was slammed on social media after the horrific incident of the 11-year child died of rabies in Larkana surfaced on social media. The heart-wrenching incident happened in Shikarpur, a small city in interior Sindh, where a child died of rabies after bitten by a dog.

The family hailed from Shikarpur lamented that they repeatedly took their son to multiple hospitals throughout Sindh to get him vaccinated with Anti-rabies vaccines, but to no avail. The boy named Mir Hasan died a month after dog bite in the desperation of anti-rabies vaccines. Had the boy been timely vaccinated he could have been saved.


The video of the boy lying helpless in the lap of his mother breathing his last outside the Commissioner office, Larkana evoked an immense public outcry on social media. The mother complained that she took her son from Shikarpur to province’s busiest Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Larkana, but was shattered to know the hospital cannot save their son since they are void of the anti-rabies vaccine.

Social Media Backlash

The netizens on social media berated Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his inept PPP’s government for the complete absence of imperative life-saving drug across the province. The incident brought to light a serious case of adverse health facilities in Sindh.

Calls were made on social media to initiate a thorough probe in the incident and to hold accountable people responsible for the crisis. Sindh government is already under fire for its faulty administration and deterioration of infrastructure across Sindh, especially in Karachi.

The government of Pakistan had now relaxed the imposed ban on Indian medicine and hence it is anticipated that the supply of vaccines will be normalized within a few weeks

Detailed research in the fiasco states that multiple factors lead to the burgeoning crisis of shortage of anti-rabies vaccines in Sindh. Pakistan is one of the heaviest importers of the ‘Indirab‘ vaccine, the anti-dog bite vaccines, primarily from India. The anti-rabies vaccine of India is declared the second-best by the World Health Organisation, with China rated at the third position and France’s listed at the top.


The Anti-rabies Fiasco

For the past few months, the supply of anti-rabies vaccines has been fluctuating due to several factors; economic and political. A few months ago, the supply to Pakistan halted after Indian health ministry instructed the producers of anti-rabies vaccines to first cater the local needs, and then export. Meanwhile, the surge in dollar price and depreciation of Pak rupee pulled the cost of importing the anti-rabies vaccines in Pakistan, forcing the importers to sell at higher prices to the Sindh government.

Moreover, with the uncertain imports of the anti-rabies vaccines, the importers were reluctant to bid in the tenders by Sindh government, also the delay in payments to suppliers was a further disincentive for the importers and companies to bid for the anti-rabies vaccines in the tenders of Sindh health department.

Read more: Sindh Govt acts after Shaniera Akram shares video of waste on beach

The recent escalation between India and Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 350 and 37-A further intensified the crisis. The government of Pakistan completely ceased the bilateral trade with India owing to public pressure, which resulted in an acute shortage of anti-rabies vaccines. The government of Pakistan had now relaxed the imposed ban and hence it is anticipated that the supply of vaccines will be normalized within a few weeks.