Times of India
26 August 2010
Health workers refuse to join drive
UP Government Committee Submits Report On Mohanlalganj Tragedy The high–power committee constituted by the UP government to conduct a death audit of the Mohanlalganj tragedy, in which four kids died after vaccination, formally submitted its report to health department on Wednesday evening. According to reports, vice–chancellor, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU), Prof Saroj Chooramani Gopal handed over the report to principal secretary, health, Pradeep Shukla. The Central government team on the other hand left for Delhi in the evening.
In a related development, health workers in several hamlets of Mohanlalganj refused to participate in the ongoing routine immunisation (RI) programme on Wednesday. The director general (family welfare), Dr SP Ram, however, claimed that the programme would not be deferred.
The health workers claimed that as the probe was not yet completed and they had not been given clean chit, it would be difficult for them to continue with the immunisation programme.
They also cited hostile conditions in the villages of Mohanlalganj locality following the incident. The workers claimed that villagers have refused to cooperate and are not allowing their children to be immunised under RI programme. The villagers had even refused to allow the pulse polio campaign in their villages during coming days.
The news created a panic among the health officials who remained concerned about the fate of the RI programme. Ram admitted that such protests had been reported from Mohanlalganj. "They are shocked by the tragedy and have demanded proper protection. We will ensure safety of our health workers and the programme will not be deferred. We will organise training modules for the workers to cope up with the stress and also to update them about the RI programme," said Dr Ram.
He also stated that such an outburst of reaction was normal, but the whole RI programme could not be be blamed for the Mohanlalganj tragedy.
"The programme was kicked off across the state the same day. Nearly two lakh villages were covered and 20,000 children were immunised. In Lucknow, itself, the RI programme was held in 278 villages covering nearly 3,000 children. It is unfortunate that such a tragedy took place in Mohanlalganj," claimed Dr Ram.