A Class 6 student of a government upgraded middle school died and five others were taken ill after they were administered a de-worming susbstance during the ongoing state sponsored-programme at Sutihara Amma village under Mushahari police station, some 20 km west of the district headquarters, on Tuesday morning.
Rajesh Kumar was taken to Kejriwal Matri Sadan (KMS) in the town, where he was declared brought dead, while other sick students were admitted to Mushahari primary health centre for treatment. The doctors attending them declared them out of danger.
According to the sources, nearly 300 students were administered anti-worm pill ‘albendazole’ after their midday meal during a campaign being run by the health department on Monday. Some of the students complained of uneasiness, vomiting tendency and stomach ache soon after taking the medicine.
“Rajesh became unconscious just after taking the medicine on the school premises. He regained consciousness briefly and was brought home by some of his schoolmates,” said Jai Prakash Singh, father of Rajesh.
Singh said Rajesh had complained of stomachache and vomiting tendencies on Monday night. “Early, in the morning, we took Rajesh to KMS, where he was declared brought dead,” he added.
Confirming the incident, civil surgeon of Muzaffarpur, Dr Gyan Bhushan, said he had heard about the incident and set up a two-member team under Dr Vimalesh Kumar to probe the matter. I have also asked team members to submit their report as soon as possible,” he said. “ I can say something concrete only after the team submits its report,” he added.
He said that the albendazole was administered to schoolchildren over the age of five years. “Rajesh and his schoolmates were administered the pills during the ongoing campaign,” he said.
Meanwhile, agitated over the death of the student, local residents of more than ten villages put a road blockade on Muzaffarpur-Mushahari-Samastipur section demanding adequate compensation and lodging of an FIR against erring officials of the health department after a thorough investigation.
The agitationists were also demanding the district magistrates presence.The subdivisional officer of Muzaffarpur (east) and deputy superintendent of police (east) are camping at the site.