LAHORE - Adviser to CM on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has directed making arrangements for airlifting anti diphtheria serum (ADS) from Croatia.

Chairing a meeting held yesterday to review outbreak of diphtheria and unavailability of life-saving drug ADS, the adviser directed investigating the matter and action against responsible officials.

Special Health Secretary (Medical Education & Specialized Institutions) Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, Special Secretary Health (Primary & Secondary Health) Dr Sajid Chauhan, Health Director General Amjad Shehzad, Medical Director Children Hospital Prof Ahsan Waheed Rathore, Additional Secretary Health (Technical) Dr Salman Shahid, officers of EPI and CDC Programmes attended the meeting.

Dr Amjad Shehzad said the purchase order of ADS had been placed on September 22 and the concerned contractor has assured to provide the medicine within a few days.

A child died this week at Children’s Hospital due to the unavailability of life-saving anti-diphtheria serum (ADS).

So far five children have lost their lives at Children’s Hospital since the provincial government had approached the health ministry with the request of importing ADS from Croatia about two months back.

Croatia is the only country producing ADS for the entire globe.

The number of diphtheria-related deaths in the province during the current year has reached 22.

As per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a single confirmed case of diphtheria is suggestive of an outbreak.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection in the upper respiratory tract with high mortality rate. It is now rare in most of the developed countries.