Blame sought in Pakistani measles outbreak

The Pakistan Medical Association recently demanded that an inquiry commission be convened to fix blame for a measles outbreak in Sindh, where a total of 2,475 cases were reported in December.

Health Minister Dr. Sagheer Ahmed told a recently held press conference that members of the Expanded Program for Immunization and Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative were responsible for the outbreak in upper Sindh, according to Tribune.com.pk.

"They are accusing each other but they are all responsible for the situation," Dr. Sagheer said, Tribune.com.pk reports. He would not say what official action the government planned to take against them.

Sagheer said that the virus has since spread to the Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions of the province. Health departments there were ordered to set up vaccination centers and another 1.5 million doses of the vaccine have been procured from Islamabad.

Haleem Adil Shaikh, the chief minister's relief advisor, said that the official death toll attributed to the illness reached 210 in 2012, with 93 in December alone.

"If the health officials are putting the total at 300, the actual figure will be more than double of what they tell," Shaik said, Tribune.com.pk reports. "A belated response came after improper routine immunization, and it let the virus exacerbate."