Parents being charged for children’s vaccination in three remote UCs

CHITRAL: The health department has allowed Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) to charge Rs30 per child for vaccination in three remote union councils of Chitral.

The matter came under discussion at a meeting of the district polio eradication committee chaired by Additional Deputy Commissioner Minhasuddin. The participants of the meeting expressed their astonishment over charging parents for administering free vaccine to their children.

But the representatives of AKHS, present on the occasion, could not justify charging of parents of children below five years during the special or normal immunisation campaign. They said the government had inked a memorandum of understanding with the organisation in that regard.

Some of the field staffers in attendance told the meeting that the parents were reluctant to pay for the vaccination and there was probability that many of them must have evaded vaccination of their children solely for the fear of being charged.

One of the union council monitoring officers said parents always expressed reservations about charging them for vaccination of children in those areas and preferred to vaccinate the children in other union councils where it was free.

The additional deputy commissioner asked District Health Officer Dr Iftikhar to convene a special meeting of his department with AKHS to look into the agreement between the government and the organisation and chalk out future line of action.–Dawn