HC notice to Centre on couple`s plea on yellow fever vaccine

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New Delhi: The Centre has been asked by the Delhi High Court to respond to a plea seeking an order for compliance of guidelines issued by World Health Organisation (WHO) at airport public health organizations for the "yellow fever vaccine".

According to the plea, Swinder Bir Singh Baweja and his wife Kiran Deep said they had lost their 22-year-old son on May 31, 2012 due to the side-effect of yellow fever vaccine.

Issuing a notice, Justice V K Jain sought the response from the Ministry of Heath, the Director General of Heath Services, Airport Public Health Organisation (APHO), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, NDMC and MCD (North Delhi) by April 28 on a plea filed by a couple.

They alleged the basic procedure that has been prescribed by WHO, which was adopted by the government here, is not followed by any of the public health organisations (PHO) or APHO.

Seeking strict compliance of the guidelines of WHO, the couple told the court that their son Paramjot Baweja lost his life on account of anaphylactic reaction of yellow fever vaccine.

"Several deaths have taken place in India on account of side-effect of yellow fever vaccine but there is no record to this effect either with the Ministry of Heath and WHO," the plea said.

They also said that besides lack of infrastructure, acute shortage of yellow fever vaccine centres are making it practically impossible to follow the prescribed guidelines in an effective way and the same results in loss of lives.

Further, the plea sought constitution of a team or board of doctors or court commissioner to visit yellow fever vaccine centres to "check the functioning and process adopted by such vaccination centres and to verify the compliance of guidelines as has been prescribed by WHO."

The couple also asked the government to display the side effects of yellow fever vaccine at public places.

WHO norms make it mandatory for every foreigner travelling to 33 African and 11 South American countries to be vaccinated 10 days before their date of arrival as yellow fever is endemic there.


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