PESHAWAR: villagers in Mashokhel destroyed a healthcare facility after hundreds of students were shifted, from different areas of the provincial capital to hospitals after consuming anti-polio vaccines.

Director Emergency, Khalid Masud told The Pakistan Enquirer that more than 600 children were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital. However, he added, there is not a single case which shows any reaction of an anti-polio vaccine. Masud said that most of the children were shifted to the hospital in ‘sheer panic’. He said that only a few children have minors problems, but that would be because of the temperature rise in the city.

At first, the incident was reported from a private school in Masho Khel village from some 50 students were brought to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC). But later on, the panic spread in another area and children were rushed to hospitals from schools. Bilal Ahmad Faizi, spokesperson for Rescue 1122 said that they have shifted children schools in Urmar, Inqilab road area, Adezai, Matani, Shaikh Muhammadi, Scheme Chowk and other villages around the city in the Rescue 1122 ambulances.

The ‘ailing’ students were immediately shifted to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), Mulvijee Hospital and other healthcare centres, where according to doctors their condition is stable.

While talking to media, Coordinator Emergency Operation Center Kamran Afridi said that anti-polio vaccination is the safest drugs with no adverse reaction. He refused that the school children fainted due to polio drops and maintained that it is baseless to say that the vaccine can harm a child’s health. Afridi claimed that the vaccines were in good condition and were not expired and alleged that the concerned school was not cooperating in anti-polio vaccination drive from the very beginning.  

The spokespersons of the hospitals told the media persons that all the children brought to the hospital are in stable condition.

Hospital torched

After hearing news of their children health, dozens of parents gathered outside the health unit and shouted slogans against the provincial government and the anti-polio vaccination campaign officials. After not getting the immediate attention from the concern authorities, in rage, the protestors broke down the main gate of Masho Khel healthcare centre. They after demolishing the health unit put it on fire.

“Destroying a health facility?? sheer madness – it will have to be there for their service delivery constructed with taxpayers money,” said Abid Majeed, Senior government officers on his Twitter account. “General wave of harsh sentiments shouldn’t target structures and services required in perpetuity.”

Bilal Ahmad Faizi said that a team of rescue 1122 rushed to the spot and has put off the fire. however, the hospitals’ structure was completely destroyed.

CM orders inquiry

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mehmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman directed the concern authorities to investigate the matter and file a report to as soon as possible. The Chief Minister directed the hospital administration to ensure the best health care facilities to the ailing children.

District Nazim Muhammad Asim has also taken notice and ordered for an immediate inquiry into the issue. The district Nazim has contacted the caretaker deputy commissioner, Shahid Ali Khan, who informed the Nazim that all children are in stable condition. The statement released from Nazim office quoted the deputy commissioner said that sometimes children feel giddy after consuming polio drops, but this remains for a short time and it is not a serious situation.

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