Maharashtra: 12 kids administered sanitizer instead of polio drops
In a shocking case of negligence, 12 kids in Maharashtra had to be hospitalized after they were given hand sanitizer instead of the oral polio vaccine on Sunday. The incident occurred at a primary health center in Kapsi-Kopari, a village in the Yavatmal district. The children, all aged under five, reportedly complained of nausea, cramps, and started vomiting as well. Here's what happened.
On Sunday, over 2,000 children along with their parents arrived at the health center for inoculation, but 12 of them were given drops of sanitizer. As the health of the kids suffered, panic took over the locality. They were quickly shifted to the Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical Hospital in Yavatmal. Hospital Dean Dr. Milind Kamble said the kids are stable and under observation.
Dr. Kamble underlined that though oral intake of hand sanitizers is not fatal, the alcohol content can lead to complications in kids this young. While Yavatmal Collector M. Devender Singh spoke with the parents of the victims, Zilla Parishad CEO Shrikrishna Panchal claimed that staff members mistook hand sanitizer bottles as the vaccine and administered it to the kids, reports IANS.
Noting that even polio drops can lead to vomiting, Panchal said this is a case of negligence. He revealed an inquiry has been launched and action will be taken against the staff members. "This should not have happened because polio drops are in a bottle labeled with a vaccine vial monitor, which shows a particular color indicative of appropriate temperature being maintained," he added.
Further, Panchal told IE that three staff members — a community health officer, ASHA worker, and an anganwadi sevika — were present at the center at the time. "We are trying to find out if the three staff members were properly trained in the exercise of administering the polio dose. Normally, this responsibility rests with the medical officer of the PHC," he said.
One P Meshram, whose two sons were among the 12 kids, claimed that staff members didn't take the matter seriously initially. "They called us back from home after some time and administered the polio dose to my children. But they did not reveal the reason behind giving it again. We realized their mistake only when our children started vomiting," he told HT.