Trust 'banks' on H1N1 paranoia

Last Updated 25 December 2010, 18:50 IST

The organisation by the name Arogya Raskhane Seva Samithi Trust has launched a door-to-door campaign to enlist people for a mass vaccination camp it has organised at the Vibhuthipura Government School on Sunday.

The case came to light when Anish, a resident Annasandrapalya, found that in his absence, a young woman in doctor’s apron approached his mother and informed her that the trust was administering the H1N1 influenza vaccine. The woman issued receipts for payment of Rs 50 in the name of the trust.

“The woman said she was representing a Banashankari-based trust and it was a government organisation,” Anish said quoting his mother.

 The receipt also showed that the vaccine - Nasovac, a nasal spray - would be given for
Rs 200 at the camp, Rs 50 below the market price. It was also claimed that the camp had the necessary approval from the State Health department.

According to Anish, the trust has promised that a group of five to six doctors would attend the camp.

However, when Deccan Herald dialled a telephone number on the receipt to verify the whether the trust had indeed obtained the necessary permission from a competent authority, the trust authorities had no definitive answer.

"I need to go to my office and see the papers. We may have it but as the camp has doctors, we don't really require permission," said the person who took the call.
Dr M Thimmappa, District Health Officer (DHO), Bangalore (Urban), whose permission is required to conduct such mass vaccination camps, said that he had granted no such permission for the last one-and-a-half-years.

"Even if someone had taken permission from my predecessor, it is valid only for six months and needs to be obtained again," he said.

Dr Thimmappa knew about the trust as it had organised  unauthorised camps in the past for Hepatitis B vaccination too. Health officials had even filed a case against the trust in Yelanhanka and Anekal two months ago.

"The police had arrested some people from the trust but I think they were let off later. I need to see what action has been taken," he said. The trust had faked his signature and perhaps had persuaded the doctors to become part of its camps, he said.

The DHO said doctors holding unauthorised camps could be booked for cheating and unethical practice. This could lead to suspension of the doctor's licence to practice.
DH News Service

(Published 25 December 2010, 18:50 IST)

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