NEW DELHI: India’s apex child rights body has sought a clarification from the Indian Council Medical Research on whether haplo stem cell treatment for thalassaemia and cancer is an approved method of treatment in India-following complaint from a guardian who has lost a relative in the process.
Sources in the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said one Amit Kumar Agarwal from Patna had complained to the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development Ministry last year saying that 20-25 children suffering from thalassaemia and cancer, including his nephew, had died in two years while undergoing an “experimental” treatment at Manipal Hospital, Jaipur.
“The cost of the treatment is over Rs 50 lakh and the hospital lures desperate parents saying that the treatment is safe and good enough to cure children of the difficult medical conditions they are in,” the complaint e-mail had said.
“However, 50-60 per cent children die within 10-20 days of treatment and some succumb to the complications later. It’s a trap the hospital lays on for hapless parents and the government must look into this.”
The case was forwarded to the Commission for a detailed inquiry. It sent a team to the hospital and also sought ICMR’s views.
“Its reply was very vague with evidence of research from outside and did not specify whether the hospital has performed any illegality,” said NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo.
“We have therefore sought another clarification from it.”