A Class 9 student died on Sunday, allegedly after taking iron/folic acid supplement at a Delhi government school.
The parents of the girl, who died at Hindu Rao Hospital, claimed her health deteriorated after she was administered her weekly dose of iron supplement at her school in Wazirpur.
The girl had been given the tablets on May 4 along with other students, said Directorate of Education (DOE) officials. The next day the girl complained of stomach ache. Her mother was called and she was sent home as the school suspected she was having menstrual cramps.
The parents said they took their daughter to a local doctor where she was administered a saline drip. But when she was being administered glucose, her hands started swelling and she was referred to Hindu Rao hospital, where she died.
The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the death by the sub-divisional magistrate of Saraswati Vihar. The girl studied at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Wazirpur, a government spokesperson said.
“There might be some other reason behind her death. We will send someone to investigate what happened. These tablets are given every Wednesday to school children across Delhi and no adverse reaction has ever been reported,” an official from the health department said.
Iron-folic acid tablets are considered to be extremely safe by doctors.
“Iron and folic acid tablets do not cause any reaction, especially such severe reactions. The compounds naturally occur in many food items like spinach, apple, etc. It is given to children who are growing so that they do not get anaemia,” said Dr SP Byotra, head of department of medicine at Sir Ganga Ram hospital. The medicine is routinely given to pregnant women too.
Adverse reactions of the deworming tablet, which is given once a year in February along with the iron-folic acid tablets, have been reported.
This year more than 180 children complained of uneasiness, nausea and abdominal pain from Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on National Deworming Day.