When 19-year-old Jui Biswas succumbed to a malaria-related complication on July 6, everyone who knew her was shocked.
Her family and friends decided to create public awareness about the disease.
The family alleged negligence on the part of the staff at Sujay Hospital, where she had been admitted. They said Jui’s severe cough and complaints of breathlessness were ignored. They, along with her friends, conducted a silent protest outside the hospital.
“The protest was carried out to spread awareness among others so that they can consult doctors at the right time. We wish other hospitals become more receptive and conscious to the patients’ complaints,” said Arpita Biswas, Jui’s sister.
Jui was admitted to the hospital on June 24 after she tested positive for Plasmodium Vivax, a type of malaria.
For the next two days, she was constantly complaining of cough, which escalated to breathlessness.
“On June 26, the doctors took a chest X-ray after persistent complaints from Jui and a cough syrup was given to her, but Jui’s condition kept deteriorating,” said Arpita.
On June 28 Jui was diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) (breathing failure).
“Jui was then transferred to the BSES hospital because Sujay didn’t have the equipment needed to treat ARDS,” added Mita Biswas, her mother.
Dr Pankaj Mistry, the doctor at Suyog who was treating Jui said,” ARDS is a complication that can develop in malaria at any stage of the treatment.”
However, a doctor from the Bombay Hospital said ARDS develops rarely when a patient is diagnosed with Vivax malaria.