Bihar: Who is Responsible for the Death of 100 Children? -Umesh Kumar Ray
Most ASHA workers complain that there isn't enough ORS to give affected children in villages.
Muzaffarpur (Bihar): Promila Devi, a resident of Ganesh Sirsiya village in Bihar’s Motihari, had organised a puja at her home last Tuesday. At around 11 pm, she gave her four-year-old daughter Priyanshu a meal of roti and bhujiya before putting her to sleep.
The day had been hectic, so Promila woke up late the next morning. But when she tried to wake Priyanshu up, Promila realised that her daughter was not opening her eyes and her body was stiff.
With her mother-in-law, Promila rushed Priyanshu to one hospital after another, but no doctor was available in any of them. Finally, at a hospital where doctors were present, Priyanshu was only given temporary medication and Promila was asked to take her to Muzaffarpur’s government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) as quickly as possible.
Promila booked an ambulance for Rs 4,000 and brought her daughter to Muzaffarpur, where doctors put an oxygen mask on Priyanshu and admitted her to the paediatric intensive care unit (ICU).
Promila’s wait outside the ICU has naturally been an anxious one. Her husband and the only man in her family, Mohan Ram, is a labourer in Punjab, so the sole burden of responsibility of her daughter’s treatment is on her.
“She ate litchi the previous morning but only ate roti-bhujiya at night,” she says, adding, “When I tried to wake her up in the morning, she did not respond and behaved strangely. We were terrified.”
Promila’s fears have grown after she came to know of the ‘deadly fever’ that had, by June 17, claimed the lives of 100 children in Muzaffarpur alone.
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