Public hospitals and clinics: Is there a shortage of BCG vaccines against tuberculosis?

Public hospitals and clinics: Is there a shortage of BCG vaccines against tuberculosis?
Public hospitals and clinics: Is there a shortage of BCG vaccines against tuberculosis?

Due to the consequences of the successive strikes in public health, parents of newborns are now faced with a new and very worrying problem: the unavailability, in dispensaries and public hospitals in several regions of the Kingdom, of BCG vaccines immunizing against tuberculosis.

According to Assabah As of this Wednesday, July 3, this situation poses a particular problem for parents of newborns, and not only in terms of preserving their health.

Although not completely effective, the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine not only safely stimulates immunity and protects against tuberculosis, but above all prevents children from developing severe forms of this disease.

In Morocco, the registration of a child in the civil registry is conditional on the production of a certificate attesting to vaccination against this disease. But given that the doses of BCG vaccine currently appear to be unavailable, these parents are refused registration of their child by the officials responsible for keeping these registers.

The daily newspaper thus reports the fact that several parents were unable to have their children vaccinated, probably because of the exhaustion of stocks available in dispensaries and public hospitals.

Other reasons are also mentioned, such as the lack of nurses to inject these vaccines in certain health centers.

In all these cases, the parents’ problem remains the same: they find themselves unable to respect the deadline for injecting the first dose into their newborn, and therefore cannot register him or her in the civil registry.

Asked about this by AssabahSaid Afifi, a pediatrician in Casablanca, claims not to have been aware of any shortage of this vaccine, and attests that doses of the BCG vaccine are currently available in pharmacies.

Regarding their unavailability in public health centers, the pediatrician recalled that this supply required other logistical procedures.

He therefore indicated that he was unable to confirm whether or not the BCG vaccine was available everywhere in Morocco, and consequently called on officials from the Ministry of Health to explain this situation and to confirm whether there was currently a shortage of this vaccine.

The requirement to inject the BCG vaccine into newborns before they are registered is a measure that has been in force in several countries, some of which have since abandoned it. This is the case in France, where the requirement for this vaccination has been replaced since 2007 by “a strong recommendation”.

Par Fayza Senhaji

07/02/2024 at 6:32 p.m.

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