In a shocking incident, an 11-month-old severely malnourished child died on Tuesday, allegedly because of medical apathy in the tribal-dominated Jawahar tehsil, 110 km from Mumbai.
Following persistent efforts by HT in bringing the incident to the attention of the district administration, the additional resident collector on Wednesday confirmed that the child was “indeed malnourished” and ordered Nandgaon taluka authorities for a report on the circumstances leading to the child’s death. “Based on the findings of the report, a detailed inquiry would be instituted to find who was responsible for the alleged apathy that resulted in the death of the child,” Datta Bhadakwar, additional resident collector at Jawahar, told HT on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, 11-month-old Priya Ajay Kirkira, born to parents belonging to the Warli tribe, died while she was being taken to the sub-district hospital at Jawahar. Her maternal uncle, Ramdas Dagdu Baraf, told HT over the telephone that the family lived at Babdrechiwadi village in Nandgaon taluka, 20km from Jawahar sub-district headquarters in Thane district.
Ramdas said that Priya was born malnourished and weighed about 4.5kg even at 11 months. He said the local Aanganwadi records also clearly mention Priya as malnourished. He said on July 19, Priya developed fever and breathlessness and was taken to the local Primary Health Centre at Nandgaon. Later when she developed pneumonia, she was taken to the rural cottage hospital at Mokhada. “The doctor there administered an injection and asked us to carry her to the hospital at Jawahar. We brought the child home. She remained ill. We were taking her to Jawahar on Tuesday when she died on the way,” Ramdas said, adding that she could have been saved if she were admitted to the hospital at Mokhada: “Or they should have shifted her to the hospital at Jawahar under observation as she was critical.”
Assistant district health officer at Jawahar RC Patil said that he has called for a report from the Mokhada Taluka health officials into the incident.