CHATTOGRAM: Violating the government directive, a medical technologist carried out the vaccination programme at the union level in Patiya upazila at the behest of Whip and lawmaker from Chattogram-12 constituency Shamsul Haque Chowdhury.
Rabiul Hossain, a follower of Whip Shamsul, claimed that he received verbal consent from the lawmaker for the vaccination while the local upazila chairman and union parishad members were aware of it.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has issued a show-cause notice on the medical technologist to explain the matter.
Besides, a three-member committee formed to investigate the matter visited Patiya Health Complex on Sunday.
Dr Ajoy Das, chief of the committee and senior consultant of Chattogram General Hospital, said a show-cause notice was issued on the accused regarding the incident.
Others related to the vaccination programme were quizzed at the health complex, he said. “We’ll also talk to those who received vaccines from the programme,” the committee head said, adding that they will submit the investigation report to the divisional director of the DGHS on Monday.
Mentionable, Rabiul and some of his associates carried out the vaccination programme unlawfully at the behest of Whip Shamsul Haque at Shovandandi union under Patiya upazila on Friday, eight days prior to the scheduled date.
Around 2,500 people were vaccinated at Rashidabad Arfa Karim High School and Shovandandi School and College in exchange for money on Friday and Saturday, said sources.
Of the centres, Arfa Karim High School is located few hundred yards off the whip’s house.
The vaccination was also carried out on Friday without maintaining social distancing and there was no precaution for any emergency after administering the vaccination to people.
The vaccination programme violating the government directive drew huge criticism and resentment among the vaccine seekers, who were waiting for long, said sources.
None of the upazila health and family welfare officer, civil surgeon and divisional health director was aware of the early vaccination programme at Shovandandi union.
The divisional director’s office formed the three-member committee immediately after knowing about the matter.
The two other members of the committee are Deputy Civil Surgeon Mohammad Asif Khan and Civil Surgeon’s Office Medical Officer Dr Nurul Haider.
Director Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir said Rabiul cannot conduct vaccination programme without permission. “Vaccination at the union level will officially start on August 7. It’s not appropriate to vaccinate unregistered people. The matter is being investigated and report will be submitted within two working days,” he said.
Upazila Health and Family Welfare Officer Dr Sabbyasachi Nath said there was no official permission for vaccination at any union right now.
Regarding the allegation of his presence at the vaccination centre, the officer said he visited the spot to verify whether vaccination was going on or not.
Local sources said the decision for vaccination was taken at the directive of the whip after discussion with the union Awami League leaders.
The organisers called upon the people above 30 years to come to the temporary vaccine centres with their identity cards for vaccination under the arrangement of union Awami League.
Banners hanging at the vaccination centres also carried the message that the programme was taken with the sincere effort of the whip, said the sources.
Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Rabiul joined the health department in 2012. His regular post is health assistant.
Despite having no three-year diploma course, he has been serving as medical technologist for being loyal to the whip.
There are also allegations of harassing other health assistants during distribution of the vaccine-related items and realising money for vaccine registration against Rabiul.
His wife is also working at Patiya Health Complex as health assistant.
Sources also alleged that there are a few other employees at the complex loyal to the whip.
Senior officials of the health department are reportedly helpless there due to their influence, they said.