Writ petition seeks HC directive on vaccinating expecting mothers on priority basis
A writ petition was filed with the High Court today seeking its directive on the government to provide Covid-19 vaccine to expecting mothers on a priority basis in order to protect their health.
Four Supreme Court lawyers including Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab collectively submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC, saying that it is a constitutional right of the expecting mothers to receive vaccines, but this issue has not been included in the government's Surokkha app, the vaccine registration web application.
It is one of the government's responsibilities to provide an opportunity on the Surokkha App, so that the expecting mothers are given vaccination on priority basis, they said in the petition.
The lawyers stated in the writ petition that around 35 lakh women of the country become pregnant per year, but thousands of expecting mothers and their children are dying due to Covid-19 infection.
The deaths of expecting mothers and their children can be reduced if they are vaccinated on priority basis, they added in the petition.
The petitioners prayed to the HC to pass directives on health secretary, principal secretary at Prime Minister's Office, cabinet secretary, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) to take necessary measures to this effect.
Lawyer Humayun Kabir Pallab told The Daily Star that the HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim may hold hearing on the writ petition on Monday.
Earlier on July 29, rights organisation Law and Life Foundation served a legal notice on the respondents, requesting them to take necessary steps in 24 hours to provide Covid-19 vaccine to expecting mothers on priority basis in order to protect their health.
On May 31 last year, the HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim following a writ petition directed the authorities concerned to conduct necessary tests including that of Covid-19 and provide treatments to expecting women on priority basis at all government and private hospitals across the country.
The writ petition had been filed after The Daily Star published a report with a photo on denial of treatment to an expecting mother Jhuma by few hospitals including Dhaka Medical College Hospital on May 21 last year.