Minister and Governor appear before Council of States over the death of 16 children
The National Minister of Health and the governor of Kapoeta state were summoned by the Council of States to answer charges regarding the death of 16 children last month in Kapoeta state as a result of poorly administered measles vaccination.
Dr. Riek Gai Kok and Louis Lobong Lojore appeared before the Council of States yesterday to explain in detail how the 16 children died after being vaccinated against measles.
The motion was moved by Mary Ayen Madut, chairperson for Gender, Peace and Reconciliation in the Council of States during a meeting.
Last month, about 16 children died in Nachodokopele village in Kauto county of Kapoeta state as a result of measles vaccination that was said to have been administered by unqualified personnel.
Minister Kok told the legislators that according to the findings, the cause of the deaths was human error of toxicity resulting from the administration of a contaminated vaccine to the children.
“The death of the children has nothing to do with the vaccine, because the same vaccine has been used on more than two million children in the country and nothing happened,” Minister Kok said.
He added that the use of non-qualified and untrained vaccinators and other members of the team including use of under-aged children were responsible for the deaths.
Kok said the findings also indicated that there was no adherence to immunization standards and that a single syringe was used for the entire four days.
He said the Ministry of Health and partners formed a committee consisting of 16 members to investigate and find out what happened and who will be held responsible.
He said the team will possibly find out the personnel who had under-performed to be held accountable.
Kok said the committee will also find out whether those who administered the vaccine had received training before administering the vaccine.
He said the committee will be headed by Dr. Baba Samson adding that members will establish and find out who should be held responsible for the death of the 16 children.
He said members will be drawn from the National Ministry of health, World Health Organization (WHO), Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), Minister Riek Gai Kok and Governor Louis Lobong Lojore were asked to explain the circumstance under which the vaccination was administered and also to explain more about the personnel who carried out the vaccination.