The Orissa government has rushed a medical team to the Chamakpur gram panchayat of Keonjhar district after reports reaching here said 11 children had died of malnutrition over the last fortnight.
Keonjhar is one of the richest iron-ore areas of the country. It is also among the main economic hubs of the state and generates a lot of revenue for mining companies. Arcelor-Mittal has signed an MoU for its 12 million tonne steel plant in Keonjhar with an investment of Rs 40,000 crore.
Usha Patnaik, director of health services, told Hindustan Times that some deaths were certainly “due to malnutrition. But measles and other factors also led to the child deaths". However, C.B. Sethy, chief medical officer of Keonjhar district said, “post-measles complications caused the deaths of some children. The other ailing children are being treated at the Basudevpur primary health centre and the Joda central hospital”.