Dullo assures HBV vaccination for all, says employee protection a priority
Healthcare workers in both peripheral and tertiary care hospitals across Jammu Kashmir have been found unaware of their immunization status putting them at risk, prompting the government to order for their vaccination, officials said Wednesday.
An official in the health department said all healthcare workers in the hospitals are not aware of their immunization and alleged that no steps are being taken to vaccinate them, which is exposing them to a number of diseases.
“The immunization is not being done anywhere in JK and they are unaware of their immunization status especially Hepatitis B and Tetanus Toxiod,” the official said.
A doctor at SMHS hospital said, hundreds of paramedics, interns and MBBS students in medical colleges and hospitals aren’t aware and don’t take immunization seriously.
“There are interns who deal with high-risk patients, they too are not vaccinated. It is a problem in entire South Asia. I don’t think the employees at peripheral hospitals would have received the Hepatitis B or influenza vaccination,” he said.
In addition to this the medico said the workers dealing with bio-medical waste management aren’t being given proper protective gear due to which they get infected by needles.
“The situation is grim in hospitals. They work without protective gear. I have seen workers taking infected needles and syringes from bins with bare hands,” he said.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education department, Atal Dulloo said the employees would get vaccinated soon.
“All the employees working across hospitals would get Hepatitis B vaccination. This is our priority and we are here for the protection of the workers,” he said.
The authorities at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar have proposed to get the healthcare workers of its associated hospitals vaccinated against Hepatitis B and Tetanus Toxiod, stating the employees are “unaware of their immunization status.”
An official in the Department of Community Medicine said they have proposed that most of the employees working in the GMC associated hospitals are either partially immunized or are unaware of their immunization status especially Hepatitis B and Tetanus Toxiod.
“The rising trend of communicable diseases in Kashmir and lack of knowledge of employees, their personal protective measures, immunization status as is being observed during biomedical waste management training,” said the proposal.
It said during the training, doctors felt there is an urgent need to assess the immunization status of employees in hospitals and further get the employees vaccinated.
“We are of the opinion that the employees working in the GMC associated hospitals are vulnerable and at risk to a spectrum of diseases, the prime being Hepatitis B virus, as such the employees be vaccinated for the virus,” read the proposal.
The proposals sent to Principal GMC Srinagar notes that World Health Organisation recommends a dose of 0.5 ml of Hepatitis B vaccine at 0-1 and six months.
“With the total employee strength of the GMC Srinagar associated hospitals around 5500, we would require at least 16,500 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine and 5500 doses of Tetanus Toxiod for immunizing the employees,” it said.
The move in the medical college comes after Department of Microbiology recently conducted a serological survey for their staff and healthcare workers against HBV.
“In the survey it was observed that most of their lab staff and healthcare workers had anti-HBS titre below 10 mIU/mI,” a doctor told Rising Kashmir.
The survey had also suggested that these healthcare workers had not received full immunization against HBV exposing them to diseases and illnesses.