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February 26, 2021

Probe into theft of used syringes, vials: Three officials found guilty, action recommended

Lahore

February 26, 2021

LAHORE:The final inquiry report into the matter of pilferage of waste of Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine (TCV) campaign in Gulberg Town, Lahore, has found three officials guilty of charge and recommended departmental action as well as action under Punjab Employees Efficiency Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act, 2006.

Khizer Afzaal Ch, Additional Secretary (Vertical Programs), Primary and Secondary healthcare Department (P&SHD), launched the inquiry into the matter of recovery of infectious immunisation waste from a scrapyard. It was reported that a lot of used syringes and vaccination (TCV, Typhoid) vials had been confiscated by police in vicinity of Nishtar Town, Lahore near Ayub Chowk behind Lahore General Hospital.

During preliminary inquiry, it was found that, after confiscation of the stolen lot, the Kot Lakhpat police arrested two people during a raid and they admitted purchasing the lot of used syringes and vials weighing from 200 to 250 kgs. The police registered an FIR against the accused, who informed the police that they purchased and loaded the lot from Government Dispensary Liaqatabad (UC 129, Gulberg Town Lahore). The confiscated lot mainly contained used syringes and vials from different previous campaigns of BCG, polio, measles and only a few vials from recent typhoid vaccination campaign were found. On the basis of findings, the inquiry officer recommended that Suleman (ASV Gulberg Town Lahore) may be suspended with immediate effect and inquiry under PEEDA Act, 2006 may be initiated against him and his case may also be forwarded to Anti-Corruption Establishment for further action. Faraz Rasheed (DDHO, Gulberg Town, Lahore), may be transferred from his current posting and no administrative posting may be given to the officer in future. Further inquiry under PEEDA Act, 2006 may be initiated against him.

Dr Ghous Ahmed Ghous (DDHO, Nishter Town, Lahore) may be transferred from administrative post and no administrative posting may be given to the said officer in future.

He also recommended that inquiry under PEEDA Act, 2006 may be initiated against in-charge health facility Government Dispensary Liaqatabad and UCMOs of UC 129, 130 and 131 for failing to dispose of campaign and routine waste as per laid down protocols.

“A separate departmental inquiry may be initiated against the responsible officers/officials who failed to follow the SOPs (issued by Director Health Services, EPI) for timely disposal of TCV campaign waste material,” the inquiry officer concluded.