Chemists at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) seem to be playing with the lives of children as more than 70% shops on the campus were found not storing children vaccination at the minimum required temperature.
According to sources in the PGIMER administration, during a routine inspection, which was conducted at eight shops by a team of doctors led by Dr AK Bhalla and Dr Anil Bhansali, it was found that most chemists were not maintaining cold chain, which was required for storing children's vaccines and several other medicines.
The PGIMER administration has imposed heavy penalty on these chemists.
According to the report of the inspection committee, the chemists, who were found not maintaining cold chain included Well Being Chemists and Delhi Drug Store at New Shopping Complex. Similarly, Consumer Medical Hall, Singh Medicine Centre, Goyal Chemists and Jan Aushadi located at Old Shopping Complex were also not maintaining a cold chain.
The panel found that against the required temperature of below 8°C, temperature of the fridges, where vaccine was stored, was anywhere from 15 to 25°C. Such a high temperature can't preserve vaccine and the medicine loses its potency.
Besides, it also came to the notice of the inspection committee that the refrigerators in which these medicines were stored were overcrowded with other medicines.
As per the vaccine storage handling guidelines, the vaccines should be stored in isolation between 2°C and 8°C.
Of the shops inspected, only Bedi Child Care at Advanced Paediatrics Centre was found maintaining a cold chain. However, the shop was fined some time back for not maintaining cold chain. During the recent inspection, the chemist was fined for Rs 50,000 for not having ample manpower and the pharmacist, too, was not present at the shop.
Besides, some chemists were found not giving the mandatory discount of 15% and 30% on medicines and surgical items, respectively. These include Well Being Chemists located in the New Market Complex.
In August last, PGIs' Standing Estate Committee had constituted three inspection teams for three different zones of the hospital.
Each team comprised eight members and were headed by the faculty of professor level. It was decided that these teams will carry out at least one inspection every two months.