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TB patient jumps to death from hospital

india Updated: Mar 25, 2009 02:20 IST
Neha Bhayana
Neha Bhayana
Hindustan Times
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A 30-year-old woman suffering from tuberculosis (TB) jumped to death from the second floor of the Sewri TB Hospital on Tuesday — the World Tuberculosis Day.

The patient, Sujata Kashiram Shungare, was suffering from pulmonary TB, which affects the lungs, since five years and was admitted to the hospital five months ago.

Her mother told the RAK Marg police, who have registered a case of suicide, that she had been depressed due to her illness. “She took off her oxygen mask, walked to the stairwell and jumped off around 3.45 am. Her mother used to be with here but, somehow, she and the nurses didn’t notice her,” said acting Medical Superintendent Dr Anil Patel.

Shungare had developed multi-drug resistant TB as she was not regular with treatment, Dr Patel added.

Shungare’s sister, Sangeeta Mishra, said she was “unhappy with life and had said many times that she wanted to die.” “She was suffering from severe chest pain and breathlessness since the last 15 days.”

Dr Patel said Shungare did not have any “psychiatric symptoms” and that they did not have a counsellor when asked if she was counselled.

Shungare used to work at a laundry to support herself and her mother. “We tried hard to convince her to get admitted but she did that only after her condition worsened,” said Mishra.

Since the government does not provide free treatment to patients with multi-drug resistant TB, Shungare was apparently buying her medicines, which cost over Rs 3,000 per month, from outside.

Patient suicides were a regular feature at the Sewri Hospital till grills were fixed on all windows. Dr Patel said they would also put nets on every floor so that patients can’t jump off the stairwell.

In December last year, a 32-two-year-old man had jumped off the second floor of King Edward Memorial Hospital after he was diagnosed with TB. In May 2007, a medical student from Sion Hospital had also committed suicide after he was diagnosed with the disease.

(with inputs from Rachna Pratihar)