Tetanus injection shortage hits govt hospitals

Government hospitals in the city are facing shortage of tetanus  injections. Patients at Hamidia hospital that requires some 8,000 tetanus injections per month have been forced to make private purchase. Authorities blame it on delay in purchase while casualty patients are footing the bill to save them from infection.

                “Patients with a deep wound could become contaminated by the tetanus bacteria, if the injections continue to be in short supply. It’s a basic a medication, but its unavailability could be life threatening,” said an on-duty doctor at Hamidia hospital, seeking anonymity.

                The situation is somewhat better in JP hospital, which like Hamidia Hospital has to rely on local purchase to meet the demand. Sources at Hamidia hospital blame the shortage of tetanus injections in execution of the tender by a supplier. “The supplier has been blacklisted and we are in the process of floating a fresh tender,” said an official.

                A vaccination to protect against tetanus is given as part of the national childhood immunisation programme to mother and child. “There is no shortage of supply with regards to the immunisation programme,” said district chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Pankaj Shukla.

                About one lakh tetanus injections are administered in the city under the programme. However, request for souring tetanus injections from the immunisation stock was turned down by health officials.

                Experts suggest that tetanus is a serious, but rare infection caused by bacteria. It usually occurs when a wound becomes infected. If not treated, tetanus may lead to complications, which can be fatal.


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