Govt-run Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre in city remains a non-starter

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Oct 2018 10:17:59


Staff Reporter,

Ex-Minister’s request letter to Chief Minister gathering dust

Even though there are enough facilities for starting a Government-run Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre in city, the plan is yet to take off for reasons best known to the authorities concerned. Surprisingly, in 2015, former Maharashtra Minister Shobhatai Fadnavis had written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister regarding the centre but the plan continues to gather dust.

Dr Sunil Naredi, an Ophthalmologist who is a frequent traveller, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’, said, “Yellow fever vaccine protects one suffering from the viral infection (yellow fever) which is mostly found in people in African and South American countries. Most people develop immunity within ten days and 99% are protected within a month of the vaccination. Anybody who travels to above mentioned countries has to be administered Yellow Fever vaccine. A vaccination centre provides a certificate to the traveller which he/she has to carry along while travelling to the above countries.”

The State Government, in 2014, had planned to set up a Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre at Daga Hospital in Nagpur. But the plan remains on papers only. To cater to the needy, Maharashtra has only two Government centres, one each in Mumbai and Pune. Nagpur witnesses a good number of international travellers from across Central India. If a vaccination centre is opened in the city, it would benefit those travelling to African countries from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and even Telangana. Nagpur has already emerged as prominent connection to international destinations by air. Considering this fact, the Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre has become a necessity.

When contacted, Shobhatai Fadnavis, former Minister of Maharashtra, said, “I had been to African countries around 2015 and had faced difficulty in getting Yellow Fever vaccination. I came to know that there was a private hospital that provided the vaccination facility. Due to its monopoly, the hospital charged as per its whims and fancies. I had written a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to start a centre in Nagpur immediately. I shall remind him again. I had a talk with Deputy Director of Public Health of Nagpur region, Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, who gave momentum to the process. But nothing has been done yet. I shall talk to Public Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant and request him to start the centre as early as possible.”

When asked, Is Daga Hospital ready for starting the procedure? Dr Seema Parvekar, Superintendent of Daga Hospital, replied, “We can start the centre once we get the permission from Family and Welfare Department of Maharashtra. Ours is a women and child hospital so we have the necessary facilities. The team of the department had been to the hospital and recommended certain changes which we did. We had trained our team for conducting the procedure. Unfortunately, after the teams visited, we are yet to get any communication from them. Meanwhile, the trained members of the team have been transferred as a routine procedure. We have informed the development to the department.” As the centre at Daga Hospital remains a non-starter, only one centre -- Hope Hospital on Kamptee Road -- is catering to the needy. Hope Hospital, being a private hospital, charges around Rs 6,000 for the vaccine. The needy has no choice but to get the vaccination done at the hospital.

The hospital attends around 100 such persons every month. If a Government-run centre starts in city (Daga Hospital) then the needy has to pay just Rs 1,800 for the vaccination. A tourist, who had been to Africa recently, told ‘The Hitavada’ that Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre must start at Daga Hospital. The Government-run centre will bring down the cost and the credibility would be more. Lets hope for the best, he added.