After wreaking havoc in Sindh for quite some time, the measles monster has been on a killing spree in Punjab and this most populous and ‘developed’ province has been deprived of more than 80 lives since the begining of this onslaught.

Two months before the PPP government’s wrap-up, its minister admitted before the Senate in January that ‘poor handling’ caused measles outbreak which killed 232 children in 11 districts of Sindh. He praised Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for ‘better management’ of the epidemic-- which now stands exposed in Punjab.

No one was punished for the DEATHS of CHILDREN in Sindh, so no one in Punjab needs to worry about it. Lahore and its suburbs are the worst hit where the government ‘successfully’ concluded a nine-day vaccination campaign on May 9. The government has planned to launch a drive in rest of the province in June, despite clear warnings from the health experts that a piecemeal campaign will seriously compromise its effectiveness.

Instead of taking the bull by the horns, the caretakers opted for LIP SERVICE and passing the buck to the upcoming government.  They have come up with a lame excuse that they are supposed to TAKE CARE of the routine affairs in the interim period. Unfortunately, no LEADER talked about any plan to fight off measles during electioneering, showing that such matters of utmost and immediate concern were not on their to-do list.

Hearing a petition on May 21 for punishing ‘irresponsible’ officials, the court summoned a detailed report about government steps after it heard “parents brought infected children to hospital”. The court also warned against administering spurious anti-measles vaccine to children, observing that the guilty would be jailed regardless of their status. Thanks to the medicine mafia, now ‘shortage’ of vital anti-measles drugs is rankling the victims. The authorities should have tight sleep after the ‘tiresome job’ they did to counter the menace. n