August 20, 2016

Vaccine Mystery

Parliament to discuss hepatitis B vaccine fatalities

A PROPOSAL has been submitted by Lower House MP U Myint Oo, a member of the National League for Democracy who represents Thanatpin Township, to discuss the deaths of three new-born babies after they were injected with a hepatitis B vaccine at Bago General Hospital.
The findings of a field study conducted by MP U Myint Oo on Bago General Hospital on 19 March will be presented to the Pyithu Hluttaw in a bid to uncover the truth behind the incident.
“I want to know whether the fatal hepatitis B vaccine was registered or not. I would also like to know about what preventive measures are in place [to stop such tragedies from happening in the future]. I don’t believe these fatalities occurred during birth. It is probable they were a direct result of the vaccine. We also didn’t get any samples during inspection on the pharmacy responsible for selling the vaccine. A submission [of field study findings] has been made to the Pyithu Hluttaw Health Committee and to the Hluttaw itself for discussions to be held on the issue,” said U Myint Oo.
An inquiry will be held on whether the hepatitis B vaccine was officially registered; the issuing of financial compensation to aggrieved families; whether there is a regulation on reliable care of hospital patients; and on what kinds of preventive protection are in place.
The Ministry of Health is currently carrying out an investigation into the incident. Five other new-born babies injected with the same vaccine who  were transferred to Yangon’s Yankin Children’s Hospital, as well as six other babies who remained at Bago General, have all been discharged and are reportedly in good health, according to the General Hospital Administrative body.
“There is a need to provide accommodation for those travelling to Yangon [General Hospital] from Bago. The working-class population of this region depends upon Bago General. We have many patients coming through our doors, which puts a strain on availability of beds and on our staff. The result of this scenario is that sometimes such incidents happen. These are not isolated cases to Bago General; they are the kinds of problems experienced [in hospitals] far and wide,” said U Ye Myint Aung, an official from the General Hospital Administrative body.
Three new-born babies died on 7 March after being injected with a hepatitis B vaccine purchased from an independent pharmaceutical outlet, while five others were rushed to Yankin Children’s Hospital for emergency treatment.—Myitmakha News Agency


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