The furore over a student’s death of an asthma attack has led Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to finally take a step towards improving its medical facilities on campus.
The varsity will soon have a well-equipped ambulance with a trained paramedic round the clock, Vice-Chancellor BB Bhattacharya informed students on Monday.
“We have decided to hire an ambulance and have it in place as soon as possible. Since the University Grants Commission does not provide us a grant to provide such a service on campus, we will have to fund it on our own,” said Bhattacharya.
Last week, 23-year-old Aishwarya Agrawal, a first-year Mtech student, died on his way from the varsity to the hospital after he suffered an acute asthma attack on September 9. Agarwal’s batchmates feel he could have been saved if the varsity was equipped to handle such a situation.
The JNU ambulance in which he was taken to AIIMS on that night did not even have an oxygen mask or a nebuliser (a device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs), which could have increased Agarwal’s chances of survival.
The health facilities at JNU have attracted a lot of flak. With JNU being a residential varsity, students have been demanding a proper ambulance and a 24x7 health centre. Currently, the campus has a health centre, which remains open from 8 am to 2 p.m. and 4 pm to 9 pm.