Lack of anti-rabies vaccines: SHC expresses dissatisfaction over reply of health secy, DMCs


KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over the response of Sindh health secretary and District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) and it summoned all DMC Commissioners in next hearing in a petition regarding the lack of anti-rabies vaccines in Sindh’s government hospitals.

A two-member bench of SHC, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, heard the petition filed by a citizen against the lack of anti-rabies vaccines in hospitals.

Additional Secretary of health department appeared before the court who was asked by the bench that why there were no vaccines in hospitals and what was happening in Sindh?

Health secretary replied there are 17800 vaccines in different hospitals.

The bench remarked that vaccines would be provided if the Sindh government demands, so why it is not demanding these vaccines from the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad?

The bench also sought full details regarding the availability of vaccines in hospitals. It also questioned why the secretary local government did not appear before the bench?

The bench remarked that news are published daily regarding dog-biting, but what the government is doing?

It remarked that there were many cases of dog-bite reported from district Central Karachi.

The counsel of district central informed the bench that issue is about lack of vaccines in hospitals.

The bench remarked that news was published in newspapers that 23 people were bitten by dogs within two days.

The bench asked which department is responsible to eliminate of rabies, as per law.

Additional Secretary informed the court that there were 770 vaccines available at Civil Hospital Karachi and JPMC.

The petitioner informed that Rangers had killed dogs in Quaidabad. At this, the bench remarked now rangers are being summoned for killing dogs?

Justice Mazhar remarked if you even could not catch dogs, then how could you construct roads and do municipal cleaning.

The counsel of KMC told the court that KMC has no budget to give salaries to its employees because its funds have been stooped by the provincial government.

The court replied it would not accept any kind of excuse. Formulate a taskforce and continue work, the bench ordered.

The court remarked that as per the health department there were only 17837 vaccines in 295 hospitals.  It expressed dissatisfaction over the replies of the health department and DMCs and remarked the KMC and DMCs were not performing their responsibilities.

Justice Mahar issued a show-cause notice to secretary local government for his absence in the hearing.

The court ordered the secretaries of health and local government to appear in the next hearing with reports. It summoned commissioners of all DMCs of Karachi on 22nd September. The court also summons Karachi Municipal Commissioner.

The court directed the additional advocate general to inform all parties that the court would issue arrest warrants if they failed to appear before it.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till the 22nd of October.