MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health minister Rajesh Tope said on Tuesday three health workers have been suspended and a detailed probe would be ordered into how a hand sanitizer, instead of polio drops, was given to 12 children in Yavatmal district of the state.
The incident took place at Bhanbora Primary Health Centre in Kapsikopri village on Sunday when the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive for children aged 1-5 years was underway.
According to officials, some of the children in a village were given oral drops of sanitizer instead of the polio drops after which many complained of nausea, cramps and started vomiting, creating panic among the parents and health officials.
All the children were rushed to the Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College & Hospital for treatment. “All the children are now stable and improving. They are being kept under observation. Depending on their condition, we shall consider discharging them,” the VNGMCH Dean Dr Milind Kamble told a news agency.
TNIE on February 1 reported that the 12 kids at Kapsikopri village in Yavatmal district were administered a hand sanitizer instead of polio vaccine last Monday. Tope said he has sought a detailed report of the incident from the CEO of Yavatmal Zilla Parishad.
“On a preliminary report, three health workers have been suspended. After a detailed probe, they could be permanently terminated from the service. We cannot afford lapses in the national polio program,” Tope said.
Shrikrishna Panchal, CEO of Yavatmal Zilla Parishad, said the incident was confined to a village.
“There are no such reports from anywhere else. We had trained the health workers for a fortnight,” Panchal said.
As per initial reports, at least one doctor, a health worker and an Asha volunteer are under the scanner.
Panchal said the authorities were informed of the incident very late. After the incident, parents in the area are under fear and have demanded action against those responsible.
The incident came a day after the Polio National Immunization Day was launched on Jan 31 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.