12 kids given hand sanitizer drops instead of polio dose
Yavatmal, Feb 1 (IANS) In a shocking lapse, at least 12 kids were administered hand sanitizer drops instead of the oral polio vaccine drops at a Primary Health Centre in Ghatanji’s Kapsi-Kopari village in the district, officials said here on Monday.
The incident took place on Sunday when over 2,000 children aged 1-5 years had gathered along with their parents for the polio vaccination programme under the national immunization drive, launched in the morning.
According to officials, some of the children were given oral drops of sanitizer instead of the polio drops after which many complained of nausea, cramps and started vomiting, creating panic among the parents and health officials there.
All the children, aged between 1-5 years, were rushed to the Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College & Hospital for treatment.
“All the children are now stable and improving. They are being kept under constant observation. Depending on their condition, we shall consider discharging them on Tuesday evening,” the VNGMCH Dean Dr Milind Kamble told IANS.
On the possible repercussions of oral intake of hand-sanitizing liquids, the Dean said that though it is not fatal, it contains around 70 percent alcohol which may create health complications, especially among children, as in the present instance.
Yavatmal Collector M. Devender Singh visited the hospital on Sunday night and enquired about the condition of the children.
He later ordered the Zilla Parishad CEO Shrikrishna Panchal to visit the Maharashtra village and investigate the incident.
As per initial reports, at least one doctor, a health worker and an Asha volunteer are under the scanner for the lapse. Panchal mentioned that the medical authorities were informed of the incident very late.
Farmers leader from Yavatmal and Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission President Kishore Tiwari suspects it could be a case of “deliberate sabotage” and plans to visit the affected village on Tuesday for a spot assessment.
Meanwhile, local Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders demanded that the persons responsible for “playing with the lives of such small children” should be immediately suspended for sheer negligence, pending the investigation.
The incident came a day after the Polio National Immunization Day (January 31), with President R. N. Kovind launching the drive on Saturday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.