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HIV cases in Unnao: Were afraid of docs, but quack was polite, his medicines cheap, say patients

Rajendra Yadav, who was running his clinic on a bicycle in UP’s Unnao district, used to treat cold and cough. His patients say Yadav was polite and treated them with respect unlike doctors at community health centres who scolded them and didn’t give them free medicines.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2018 16:10 IST
Haidar Naqvi and Anupam Srivastava
Haidar Naqvi and Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Unnao,HIV patients,HIV
One of the patients (in yellow shirt) who tested positive for HIV, at his residence in Premgunj.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)

Rajendra Yadav is not qualified to treat people. But for the poor in Bangarmau of Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, he was a “saviour” as he bicycled around the town and offered advice, pills and even injections to those seeking his help — all for a token fee of Rs 10.

Yadav, who is said to be about 35 years old, “treated” colds, coughs and other ailments. The quack is on the run after tests and investigation found he allegedly gave HIV to at least 38 people by injecting them with an infected syringe.

But people in the area hold doctors and staff at government hospitals responsible for the situation, alleging that they prescribe expensive medicines and treat them shabbily.

“Yadav used to give us respect and was polite. Doctors at the community health centre misbehave with us and scold us. We are afraid of visiting them. They never gave medicine for free but asked to get it from specific medical stores,” said Deendayal, one of Yadav’s many patients.

According to Unnao chief medical officer SP Chowdhary, the fugitive was popular in three localities — Premgunj, Kareemuddin Nagar and Chakmeera.

“He was running his clinic from a bicycle, moving from one village to another. He was using a single hypodermic syringe made of glass to inject all his patients,” Chowdhary said.

Police were finding it hard to track him as no one knew his address. His mobile phone was switched off.

That Yadav’s dirt-cheap “treatments” were a lure for the poor underscores the state of India’s healthcare system, which is reeling from a shortage of doctors, medical staff, medicines and facilities.

Unnao has a sketchy healthcare record as reports surfaced last December that 32 patients underwent cataract surgery under torchlight because of power outages at a state-run hospital.

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 09:07 IST