Sitakundu children’s deaths: 6 health officers withdrawn

Six health workers have been withdrawn from Chittagong’s Sitakunda after the deaths of nine children in a remote tribal village.

The government identified measles as the cause of the deaths, putting the whole health sector into question as those kids in a small indigenous community were never vaccinated.

In line with the instructions from the Directorate General of Health Services, Chittagong Civil Surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddique issued the order on Tuesday.

Rahman said, “Investigations revealed that the tribal village was not under coverage of the vaccination programme. The probe also found that local health workers have been negligent.”

Previously, the government identified measles as the cause of nine children’s deaths in Chittagong’s Sitakunda Upazila.

Director General for Health Services Prof Abul Kalam Azad apologized on behalf of the health officials who for years could not reach that small tribe group consisting of 85 families who live in a remote Tripura Parha of Sonaichhari in Baraulia.

He added that they are now reorganizing their “whole micro-planning system” at the village level that they carry out before any immunisation campaign.

But, he did add that there is no alarm of measles outbreak in Bangladesh.

“The measles situation is as usual across Bangladesh. This is a small isolated group of people whose deaths could have been prevented if they took modern treatment.”

Earlier on July 11, a team of the government’s disease monitoring agency, IEDCR, rushed to the hilly village following reports of deaths of children from an unknown disease.

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