DTP under investigation: Kahuure
Written by By Tawanda Kanhema
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
THE Permanent Secretary for health and Social Services Kahijoro Kahuure has confirmed that the government is conducting investigations into the deaths of infants after vaccination with the Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTP) vaccine.
At a press conference held to address concerns over the alleged adverse side effects of the vaccine, Kahuure said samples of the vaccine used on baby Zameer Mohammad Chania who died less than 24 hours after receiving DTP on January 9, 2009 been sent for tests at laboratories in South Africa.
Even though it is not proven that the deaths were in any way caused by vaccination, we extend our condolences to the families who lost their babies, said Kahuure.
Zameer's parents, who attended the press conference were outraged by Kahuure's attempts in his statement to attribute the baby's death to medication he received at home to ease the pain after he had cried for more than 7 hours.
They are trying to shift the blame and say I gave medicines that could cause symptoms, how could they say that? said Linda Mohammed Chania, Zameers mother.
DTP has been at the receiving end of harsh criticism and many developed countries have abandoned it in favour of DTaP which has lesser side effects.
Research conducted into the side effects of the controversial Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTP) vaccine, which has been blamed for the recent deaths of infants in Namibia, shows that the drug has the potential to induce cardio-respiratory complications, brain damage and even death in premature infants.
British Dr HH. Buttram concluded in his research that DTP should not be given to babies in the first 47 days after predicted birth date, meaning that giving DTP at 6 weeks still carries the risk of causing breathing to stop, especially in premature babies.
Information collected on the side effects of DTP by the Parents of vaccine Damaged children, a British organisation, confirmed Buttram's findings, and further showed that the most adverse reactions were within 24 hours of vaccination.
In 65% of the cases referred to us, reactions followed the triple vaccine (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus). The children in this group total 182 to date, all are severely brain damaged, some are also paralysed and 5 have died, wrote rosemary Fox, Secretary of PVDC in the British Medical Journal.
Approximately 60% of reactions occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 80% within 3 days, and all within 12 days, she added.